UK's Channel 4 To Get Extra Public Cash

22 June 2007

LONDON: UK broadcaster Channel 4 is in line to receive some £14 million ($27.9m; €20.8m) of public money to help pay for the costs of the digital switchover, according to culture secretary Tessa Jowell.

The publicly-owned but commercially-funded channel will receive the extra cash from the annual licence fee which currently funds the BBC. The digital switch begins later this year and will proceed region by region until completion at the end of 2012.

The announcement follows a recent report by UK media watchdog Ofcom which said Channel 4 would need to reassess its current financial model, and may require extra government support after 2010.

Speaking to the Royal Television Society, Jowell said the government would undertake an assessment of public service broadcasting as soon as Ofcom had completed its own review, which is due to begin in the fall.

The government's analysis, she added, would "provide the right context for considering the medium- to long-term solutions for Channel 4".

Data sourced from Financial Times online; additional content by WARC staff