UK Channel 4 privatization is now off, Government Letter says – The Hollywood Reporter

The UK’s privatization of Channel 4, which has become one of the most controversial issues in the UK media over the past year with many creative industries resisting the proposed sale, seems to as cancelled.

In a letter to prime minister Rishi Sunak — dated January 3 and leaked by The News Agents podcast on January 4 — culture secretary Michelle Donelan said the purchase would disrupt Mr. Channel 4 group in “supporting growth” in independent TV channels. television sector, with a package of reforms proposed to support its sustainability.

“Last year’s consultation on C4C’s future ownership model identified risks to the long-term sustainability of the group. The view of my predecessor and the government of the time was that selling C4C was the right solution to address these challenges. However, after reviewing the business case, I have concluded that pursuing a sale at this point is not the right decision and there are better ways to ensure the sustainability of C4C and the region. UK’s independent manufacturing sector,” wrote Donelan. “Indeed, the role of C4C in supporting growth in our independent manufacturing sector, a sector currently worth around £3 billion [$3.6 billion] for our economy, will be greatly disrupted by sales at a time when economic growth and stability are our top priorities.”

The leaked letter revealed plans for a “sustainability pack” that would give Channel 4 a chance to produce its own content for the first time, which Donelan claims will take place in consultation with the production sector. independent UK manufacturing, which would be hit hard by any move by the network to move production in-house.

“The government will work closely with the independent manufacturing sector to consider what steps are needed to ensure that Channel 4 plays a vital role in promoting investment in the sector, especially in manufacturers. latest, smallest and most innovative production – protected,” the letter reads. “This will be a gradual change, and safeguards will include an increase in the Channel 4 stand-alone production quota level, currently set at 25% of shows; and potentially offer specific protections to smaller independent producers.”

Donelan also said she would seek to increase Channel 4’s borrowing limit beyond the current limit of £200 million ($240 million).

Donelan’s decision marks a 180-degree shift from her predecessor Nadine Dorries, who made the privatization of Channel 4 one of her top priorities, going against public opinion and experts when pursuing goals and receiving the support of the prime minister at that time. Boris Johnson. Critics have described the purchase as cultural vandalism, arguing that Dorries’s motives were ideologically motivated and stemmed from the media’s unfavorable coverage of her in the past. Newsletter of Channel 4, instead of looking at actual economics.

See the full letter from Donelan below


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