Channel 4 Testing Alternative Media Waters

03 June 2004

This could prove a seminal year for UK terrestrial broadcaster, Channel 4. Its merger explorations with rival Five, first discussed in February, are still on the cards and C4 now seems likely to extend its activities into the realms of commercial radio.

The Communications Act of 2003 has smoothed the course for a Channel 4 / Five merger, but this would still need the approval of the former's sole shareholder -- the UK government. Five's parent companies, RTL and United Business Media, maintain that they and Channel 4 are enthusiastic over such a deal.

• In a more radical departure from the norm, Channel 4 may also be about to embark on an enterprise to form a new TV and commercial radio company.

Radio producer UBC Media and Channel 4's 4 Ventures are in "advanced discussions" with pop manager Simon Fuller over a project that, among other things, would launch a national radio station built around one of Fuller's most successful creations, the music programme Popworld.

Data sourced from: and; additional content by WARC staff