Who could buy the diffuser Business

Could the media mogul launch a bid on Channel 4? Given his recent foray into UK television via the Piers Morgan-run TalkTV TV news network, there will be speculation that Mr Murdoch will also be eyeing the broadcaster. It was previously linked in a bid to buy Channel 5 in 2014 when it was owned by former adult magazine tycoon Richard Desmond. Channel 5 was eventually sold to Paramount.

Q&A: Why does the government want to privatize Channel 4?

Fears that Channel 4 could be overwhelmed by the huge buying power of US streaming giants have pushed Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries towards privatisation.

Ministers believe that, under the control of the ‘deep-pocketed’ owner, Channel 4 would be able to thrive as a public service broadcaster, as it would have the financial flexibility to invest in original programming which could help compete with Netflix and Disney.

Channel 4 is government-owned, but takes no money from taxpayers on the £159-a-year license fee that funds the BBC. Instead, it’s a non-profit company that uses all the money it makes from advertising to fund program commissions and wider business costs.

As Channel 4 posted record financial results in the wake of the pandemic, ministers worried about the hit it took at the height of the Covid crisis when its advertising revenue plunged and it was forced cut its budget and save £95 million.

Some MPs believe Channel 4 would be more resilient to future downturns in the advertising industry if a wealthy backer were able to shield it from such swings.

What does the privatization of Channel 4 mean?

More details on how a sale would occur are expected to be presented in a white paper later this month, but for now the gist is that the government is seeking to end its ownership of Channel 4. Offers are expected next year, with the aim of selling the broadcaster in early 2024.

The money from the sale is expected to become a “creative dividend”, which will flow back into the television industry and production companies. It’s unclear how big it would be, although some have suggested it could fetch over £1billion.

Although Channel 4 has new ownership, government sources told The Telegraph the plan is to keep Channel 4 as a “public service broadcaster”. The exact portion of its awards that the government would seek to protect in a sale could have a significant impact on the sale price.

Channel 4 is expected to create cutting-edge content for younger audiences, commission shows from Britain’s booming independent production sector and ensure some of its programming comes from outside London. It also recently opened a regional headquarters in Leeds where Channel 4 News now airs on select days. Enders Analysis says Channel 4’s value could range between £600m and £1.5bn depending on how much of its attribution goes into any sale.

Why does the government want to do this?

Nadine Dorries said government ownership “prevents Channel 4 from competing with streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon”.

Ministers said this ownership structure had acted as a “straitjacket” for the broadcaster. A government source said a sale “could allow him to set up his own production house and generate his own intellectual property.”

Meanwhile, critics of privatization have argued that the sale was prompted by the Conservatives’ aversion to Channel 4’s ‘woke’ leftist coverage and opted for a sale as punishment for its provocative moves, like replacing Boris Johnson with a melting ice sculpture. when he failed to show up for a climate change debate ahead of the 2019 election.

Does everyone agree?

There are concerns about what this means for the future of Channel 4. The company itself said it was “disappointing that [the] the announcement was made without formally acknowledging the significant public interest concerns that have been raised”.

Chief executive Alex Mahon has argued that key parts of Channel 4’s DNA could be sacrificed by a new owner who is more motivated by the pursuit of profits than protecting the company’s position as a as a public service broadcaster.

Pact, the industry body representing the UK’s film and TV production sector, called the move unnecessary, saying it puts the UK’s multitude of independent producers at risk.

A spokesperson for Pact said: “Unlike other broadcasters, Channel 4 does not make any of its programming in-house, commissioning hundreds of independent television companies across the UK each year to make its programming, and a private owner could divert the production of these independent producers to reduce their costs, with an impact on the whole industry.

“It is estimated that this shift to in-house production will result in a loss of £3.7 billion to the sector over a decade. This potential shift to in-house production shifts value from UK SMEs to large, for-profit companies. .”

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This notice was published: 2022-04-06 06:13:11

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