Despite the government’s grand push to privatise Channel 4, new data has revealed that over three quarters of the public consultation respondents examining the subject said they wanted to keep the broadcaster public.
Of the 50,000 people who responded to the government’s survey, 77 per cent felt that the government should not remove the publisher-broadcaster restriction, with only eight per cent believing that it should be removed.
96 per cent disagreed that C4’s model is a barrier to addressing market challenges and 91 per cent of people said privatisation wouldn’t make C4 more sustainable.
The consultation outlined the government’s aims and priorities for public sector broadcasting, noting that the modernisation of Channel 4’s existing remit will also be considered as part of that process.
A key tenet of the consultation was about getting a UK wide decision about the future of the broadcaster.
Indeed, the Culture Secretary said to a DCMS committee in November: “It’s not just about London. It’s about 60 million people, not six million people.”
However, Dorries pushed forward with her plans earlier this month, stating the current model was “holding Channel 4 back from competing against streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon” and that “a change of ownership will give Channel 4 the tools and freedom to flourish and thrive as a public service broadcaster long into the future”.
Nadine Dorries is reportedly set to release a new White Paper that will outline her plans to privatise Channel 4 in another major step toward selling the state-owned broadcaster.
Sky News reports that the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is expected to release the plan this week.