20 January 2022
The government has announced that they plan to continue with their plan to privatise Channel 4. But it isn't over yet!
Here are 5 good reasons why the campaign to keep it working for people not profit deserves your support. The last one is maybe the best - this is a fight you can win!
1. Channel 4 doesn’t cost you a penny
Many people do not realise that Channel 4 is in public ownership. It’s a commercially run, publicly owned organisation that funds itself through advertising and doesn’t cost us a penny. What’s not to like?
There is no problem for which the privatisation of Channel 4 is the solution. Channel 4 has always been ahead of the game on digital. It was one of the first broadcasters to set up an online streaming service. It made a profit for the public purse of £74 million last year.
2. You like good TV and films
Channel 4 is a Great British success story that has been entertaining and informing us since 1982. Have you seen or enjoyed any of its world-famous, much-loved TV programmes, or the films from Film4?
Come Dine with Me?
Four Weddings and a Funeral?
Without Channel 4, these wouldn’t have happened! Channel 4 has a unique business model and has commissioned huge amounts of innovative content.
Why would we throw this away? Privatisation would mean shareholders coming first instead of innovation – Channel 4 would be downgraded.
3. You care about holding this government accountable- for example at the next election
Channel 4 News often holds this government to account, on everything from the NHS to the environment.
For example, in the 2019 election, Channel 4 held a debate on climate crisis. Boris Johnson failed to attend and the channel replaced him with a melting ice sculpture. In fact, that might be part of why he’s been pushing for privatisation…
Channel 4 has a mandate to stimulate public debate, reflect the UK’s cultural diversity and champion alternative points of view. It is very popular with young people and minority audiences.
If you want decent news coverage at the next general election, now is the time to save Channel 4.
4. You care about jobs, opportunities and levelling up
Channel 4 boosts the economy, creates jobs across the UK, helps young people get into the creative sector and works with more independent producers than any other broadcaster. There’s a lot to lose:
Ernst and Young have found that privatisation risks a 35% drop in regional jobs dependent on Channel 4. In 2020, Channel 4 produced 58% of its content in the nations and regions outside London.
Privatising Channel 4 would cost the economy as a whole £1 billion.
Channel 4 has a skills and training programme, creating career opportunities for 15,000 young people, targeted at those in the poorest areas.
5. We can win this one!
Do you want Channel 4 to stay in public hands? Polling in the Times shows 82% of us believe that’s where it belongs. 76% of Conservative voters agree.
The number one factor for people who want public ownership is that Channel 4 creates jobs for the UK economy. Not being owned by a foreign company and being independent are the next two most important factors.
60,000 people (including thousands of We Own It supporters) responded to the government’s consultation. 10,000 of you wrote to your MP to ask them to stop the sell off. Celebrities, production companies and advertisers have come out against privatisation.
Share this blog and sign our petition to send the government a clear message - Channel 4 belongs to us, in public ownership. We don’t want to lose it.