Sumary of Ministers hire JP Morgan to screen options for future of Channel 4:
- Ministers have drafted in a Wall Street banking behemoth to advise on the future of Channel 4 amid a growing battle over the public service broadcaster’s prospective privatisation.
- Opposition to its privatisation has become increasingly vocal both from within Channel 4 and the independent television production sector in recent months.
- The news of JP Morgan’s mandate for the government comes as Mr Dowden is expected to address the debate about Channel 4 in a speech to the Royal Television Society Convention in Cambridge.
- More on Channel 4 Related Topics: A ten-week public consultation on the broadcaster’s future closes on Tuesday, and a formal decision about a sale would depend on whether taxpayers would receive value-for-money and other factors, industry sources have suggested.
- “So in the face of rising global competition, now is the right time to strengthen UK public service broadcasters and consider releasing Channel 4 from the constraints of public ownership, enabling it to thrive for the next 40 years and beyond.
- Image: Alex Mahon, chief executive officer at Channel 4, pictured in 2019 Channel 4 has sought to argue that its public service broadcasting remit would also be undermined by the profit motive of a new owner, with the likes of Discovery, the US broadcaster, touted as a potential buyer.
- Last weekend, Channel 4 struck a deal with Amazon’s Prime service to show Emma Raducanu’s stunning victory in the US Open Final, drawing more than 9m viewers.
- Ian Katz, the terrestrial broadcaster’s chief content officer, said: “Moments like this are what Channel 4 was made for – it’s a perfect example of the kind of nimble, uncommercial, but profoundly valuable public service broadcasting that a purpose-driven Channel 4 can deliver.