In 2015 a government official was photographed holding a document proposing privatisation of the publicly owned broadcaster Channel 4. There followed a period of 18 months during which arguments were put forward on both sides and the House of Lords Select Committee on Communications produced a report on the subject, A Privatised Future for Channel 4?. Finally, in March 2017, the Culture Secretary, Karen Bradley, announced that “the Government will not give further consideration to privatisation at this time”.
This policy is essentially a promise to maintain that government stance. We have found no evidence of any change since the March 2017 announcement in the government’s attitude towards ownership of Channel 4, which currently remains publicly owned.
On this basis, we’re marking this policy as ‘done’. In other words, they are continuing to stick to an agreement that is already in place. However, we’ll move it to ‘broken’ if plans for privatisation are circulated before the end of this government’s term of office. Follow this policy for any developments.
- Government document considers Channel 4 ‘privatisation options’ – BBC News
- PSB Annual Research Report 2017 – Ofcom
- A Privatised Future for Channel 4? – Select Committee on Communications
- Karen Bradley’s speech at the Nations and Regions Media Conference – Gov.uk