Government Considering Selling Channel 4 to Raise £1bn

By Gary Cutlack on at

An official visiting 10 Downing Street for a meeting about the media world made the rookie error of having his paperwork in his hand, letting one press photographer snap an image of documents showing that privatising Channel 4 could well be on the cards.

The image revealed the text: "In your recent meeting with Matt Hancock [Cabinet Office minister] you agreed that work should proceed to examine the options for extracting greater public value for the Channel 4 Corporation, focussing on privatisation options in particular," with the document itself being addressed to two current government ministers.

Channel 4 is technically a publicly-owned  public service broadcaster, one that's funded by advertising for DIY superstores. So we sort of own it. A recent examination of its finances and likely appeal to media giants around the world by the Financial Times gave it an estimated price tag of around £1bn, were it to make it to market, money the government would presumably use to reduce the national debt or hand straight over to its banking mates.

The Department of Media refused to say if any decisions had been made on future reforms of the channel's operations, saying: "Channel 4 has an important remit and we are looking at a range of options as to how to continue to deliver this, including options put forward by Channel 4." [Reuters]