ISBA opposes the privatisation of Channel 4. Channel 4’s unique remit provides advertisers with highly valued, younger and diverse audiences, at scale and in quality environments, at a time when these audiences are becoming increasingly hard to reach through linear TV.
Channel 4 has led the field with its BVOD services, which again deliver brand-building advertising to sought-after audiences. Channel 4 also supports the UK’s world-leading creative sector, on which local advertising production depends. No new owner, with a purely commercial incentive, could be guaranteed to maintain all the facets of the current offering, which contributes so significantly to media plurality and diversity in the UK.
If the Government is convinced that the only possible way for Channel 4 to secure further investment and withstand the increased competition from streaming services is for its ownership to change, then it should publish its evidence base and economic analysis. Currently, the Government has failed to provide a convincing economic or business case.
Please find our full response below.