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MP Committee probes Channel 4 privatisation

September 16, 2021

By Colin Mann

The Scottish Affairs Committee of the UK House of Commons will be holding its second evidence session examining public broadcasting in Scotland, hearing from Channel 4 and independent production companies the channel works with in Scotland, on September 20th.

The session examining Channel 4’s performance comes shortly after the network announced its best-ever annual results. However, the former UK Government Culture Secretary said earlier this week that privatisation, and the investment that comes with it, is needed to help the broadcaster grow and compete with streaming services, but that the channel’s status as a public service broadcaster would be protected in the event of a sale.

Channel 4’s Chief Executive and Commissioning Editor will be quizzed by the Committee, before the Managing Directors of Two Rivers Media, Firecrest Films and Raise the Roof Productions give evidence. Among the issues likely to be discussed are:

  • Channel 4’s commitment to Scotland and its support of independent production companies in Scotland;
  • Channel 4’s performance in Scotland amid statistics that it had only a 4.7 per cent share of total TV viewing in Scotland in 2020;
  • Privatisation of Channel 4;
  • The impact of the rise of streaming services and social media.

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