Channel 4’s privatisation was reportedly “needed” to compete with streaming services

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Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden is expected to outline why the channel needs more money to invest in “technology and programming”.

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Channel 4’s privatization is “necessary” to “compete with the streaming giants,” Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden is expected to say in a new speech.

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Set to speak today (15 September) at the Royal Television Society convention, Dowden is due to discuss Channel 4’s current “steady status”, while outlining why further investment is critical to its growth.

“Without [more money]“Channel 4 will not have the money to invest in technology and programming, and it will not be able to compete with the streaming giants,” he will reportedly say, according to sky News.


Oliver Dowden (Picture: Leon Neill / Getty Images)

Dowden is expected to suggest that the additional funding could either come “on the taxpayer’s back” or from private investment.

“It is my strong position – as a point of principle – that I do not believe that the borrowing of a commercial TV channel should be underwritten by a grandmother in Stockport or Southend,” his statement continued.

Discussing the channel’s ongoing commitment to independent news and commissions from the independent production sector, Dowden would further say: “Channel 4 can continue to do what it does best: to fund original, risk-taking content. To reach – the way you wouldn’t anywhere else – and to showcase the best of this country on free-to-view television.”

Earlier this year, Ricky Gervais spoke out against a potential sale of Channel 4, calling it “a real shame.”


“For nearly 40 years, Channel 4 has been a launch pad for new ideas and new talent,” he wrote on Twitter.

“It is able to do this because of its remittance and non-profit structure and it would be a real shame if the channel were to be sold and destroyed.”

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