The UK culture minister has hinted that Channel 4 may become a privatised broadcasting station as it faces financial uncertainty.
According to The Guardian, culture minister, John Whittingdale, told an event at the Conservative party conference that the channel was in economic difficulty and there is a possibility it may be sold.
Channel 4 is commercially funded but is ultimately owned by the government, with all money going back into the broadcaster, which commissions all of its programmes from independent producers.
Channel Four Television Corporation was set up by an Act of Parliament. It is a publicly owned not-for-profit corporation and does not have any shareholders.
The Guardian reported that Whittingdale said: “Unlike the BBC, Channel 4 survives as an advertising-funded model. With the advent of the streamers and other competing services that model is under considerable strain.
“We do need to think about Channel 4 and whether there is still a need for a second publicly owned public service broadcaster, or what function it should fulfill,and that is something we are giving a lot of thought to.”
The broadcast station’s annual report is due at the end of October, which is thought will provide further details about its financial sustainability.