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John Whittingdale Channel 4

Culture secretary heightens expectations of Channel 4 privatisation


By John Glenday, Reporter

April 27, 2016 | 1 min read

Culture secretary John Whittingdale has spoken positively about a future Channel 4 operating under private ownership as speculation surrounding possible privatisation of the broadcaster continues to build.

Whittingdale argues that the broadcaster could be ‘better off’ as a private enterprise but insists that no decision on the future of the public service broadcaster will be taken until conclusion of the BBC’s charter renewal.

Speaking to the House of Lords communications committee Whittingdale said: “There is an argument that Channel 4 would have a stronger future if it has a private sector partner who has deep pockets and was willing to invest in the growth of the business.

“This is not about raising money for the government [but] about trying to find a model to sustain Channel 4.”

Whittingdale believes there is considerable appetite amongst media firms to take control of the network, potentially improving its public service output.

Channel 4 is implacably opposed to privatisation, warning that any such move may impact its news output and has proposed a form of mutualisation instead.

John Whittingdale Channel 4

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