Archbishop of York asks about privatisation of Channel 4

The Archbishop of York received the following written answer on 26th April 2022:

The Lord Archbishop of York asked Her Majesty’s Government what steps they will take to ensure that a privatised Channel 4 will continue to have a duty to deliver diverse religious and ethical content.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay (Con): The consultation document on a potential change of Channel 4’s ownership outlined that Her Majesty’s Government sees the great value delivered to society through the remit obligations placed on Channel 4 to broadcast content which appeals to a diverse society.

Her Majesty’s Government has been very clear that it wants Channel 4 to remain a Public Service Broadcaster, with obligations and benefits similar to others – both public and privately-owned – so that it continues to make an important social, economic and cultural contribution to the UK.

Moreover, Her Majesty’s Government considers that Channel 4’s ability to reach a diverse range of audiences is a strength to be celebrated and maintained, and that this is not at odds with private investment – in fact, this is an important facet of Channel 4’s brand which is likely to be an attractive asset to nurture and develop for any potential buyer.

It is important to note that, notwithstanding the above, Channel 4 does not currently have a specific duty to deliver diverse religious and ethical content, though it may choose to do so as part of its overall contribution to the public service remit for television.

Her Majesty’s Government will set out the future plan for Channel 4 in a White Paper shortly.

Hansard

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