Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries has said she “can’t see a scenario” in which a privately owned Channel 4 would become partly or wholly subscription based.
“As a public service broadcaster that is not on the table, that is just not on the cards at all. I can’t see a scenario in which that would happen,” she told a culture committee meeting this morning.
Dorries did not reveal all the terms of the Channel 4 (C4) sale, but said the public service remit would be protected for a decade under new owners.
She also said the It’s A Sin broadcaster would have creative freedom for its own shows.
Dorries has been notably reluctant to speak with Channel 4 News, regarding it as “edgy” and questioning its impartiality.
Channel 4 News Presenter & Investigations Editor Cathy Newman took to Twitter to call out Dorries’ comments about the broadcaster’s news channel, and invited her to come on the show.
MPs are set to vote on the sale after it was included in the recent media bill.
Looking at the streaming services as a whole, Dorries was quick to defend Netflix’s current situation.
“I think for people to try and paint a picture that Netflix is unsuccessful and struggling are slightly over-egging the pudding,” she added. “Netflix has done what many businesses do, which is that it has reached the point of market saturation – which is a good thing for Netflix.
“But they are going to have to revise their business model, and they will revise it in a way that will make it much more difficult for public service broadcasters, who rely on advertising revenue”, she said.
Just yesterday, City A.M. reported the US streaming giant had laid off around 150 staff, accounting for around two per cent of its US workforce.
The streaming giant said these losses were a result of the company’s dwindling revenue as it posted its first ever loss of subscribers.
However, while defending the company, she also admitted that she shares Netflix passwords: something that the firm have said links to the dwindling subscriber figures, and are desperately trying to crack down on.
“I thought it was always an incredibly generous system. I mean my Mum has access to my account, and the kids do. There are four other people that can access my Netflix account in different parts of the country. Well, we are probably not supposed to do that”, she said