Thank you for contacting me about Channel 4.
I would like to reassure you of the Government's commitment to the success and sustainability of the UK’s public broadcasting system, of which Channel 4 is an integral part.
Channel 4 has been hugely successful in delivering the aims set out at its creation in 1982, including: supporting the UK independent production sector; delivering diverse and risk-taking content; and contributing to the wider public goals of public service broadcasting. However, since then, the TV landscape has changed beyond recognition.
As you might be aware, Channel 4 is entirely commercially funded, but has been publicly owned since it began broadcasting. It was set up in this way principally to provide greater choice. Today though, audiences can now watch what they want, when they want, how they want, across a range of internet-enabled personal devices. The independent production sector has also grown enormously so that it now supplies content to a wide range of broadcasters and streaming services.
The previous Culture Secretary, after public consultation, found that government ownership was holding Channel 4 back from competing against streaming sites such as Netflix and Amazon. As such, the Government confirmed that a change of ownership would offer Channel 4 the freedom to continue its success as a public service broadcaster long into the future.
As you may know, the new Culture Secretary has said that she will review the business case to change ownership of Channel 4. While this process is ongoing, I will follow any developments closely, ensuring my ministerial colleagues are aware of the wide range of concerns that constituents have shared with me.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.