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Friend of Tortoise Exclusive

Would privatisation be good for Channel 4?

Would privatisation be good for Channel 4?

This event is exclusive to Friends of Tortoise

This is a digital-only ThinkIn.

Channel 4 is used to the spectre of privatisation. The Thatcher, Major, Blair and now the Johnson governments have all investigated the potential sale of the channel, and it looks like 2022 could be a year of decision for the broadcaster. But what would the real impact of a privatised Channel 4 be for viewers and the industry?

Although publicly owned, Channel 4 receives all its funding from advertising revenue – a detail which appeared to catch the current Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries off guard in a recent Select Committee hearing. If the de facto owner of Channel 4 doesn’t know how it operates, how can the broadcaster be confident of its own future? Who are the likely buyers, and how does the Channel 4 situation contribute to the mood music about privatising the BBC?

editor and invited experts

James Harding
Co-founder and Editor

John Whittingdale OBE MP
Former Minister of State for Media and Data

Lord Michael Grade CBE
Television executive

Maggie Brown
Media journalist and Channel 4 historian

Paul Fleming
General Secretary, Equity