UK government considering sale of Channel Four

Britain is considering selling the Channel 4 public broadcaster as part of its drive to pay down debt, a government official has accidentally revealed.

An official was photographed on Thursday outside No 10 Downing Street, carrying a document which said the government was considering its options for Channel 4, which is publicly owned, but funded by advertising.

“In your recent meeting with Matt Hancock [Cabinet Office minister], you agreed that work should proceed to examine the options for extracting greater public value for the Channel 4 Corporation [C4C], focusing on privatisation options in particular,” the document, which was published on Twitter by a press photographer, says.

The document was addressed to two government ministers. The British government has been looking to sell some state-owned assets in an effort to pay off debt and has in recent years sold the majority of its holding in postal operator Royal Mail and reduced its stake in Lloyds Bank.

Channel 4 was launched in 1982 with a remit to promote innovative programming and to compete with ITV and the state-owned BBC. 

It buys all its programming from third-party production companies.

A spokeswoman for the UK’s Department of Media said no decision had been taken regarding the “reform of Channel 4”.


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