UK’s Channel 4 Unveils Internet Documentaries Plan

08 December 2004

UK commercial TV broadcaster Channel 4 is proposing an internet-only dedicated documentaries channel.

The state owned but commercially funded broadcaster says the new venture will develop its public service remit and will contain both archive and original commissioned programming.

Ceo Andy Duncan unveiled the plan at a seminar organised by media watchdog Ofcom to discuss its concept for so-called 'public service publishers'.

A PSP would commission and distribute programming through non-TV conduits such as broadband and networked personal video recorders, as well as television.

Ofcom proposes funding of about £300m ($528m, €433m) annually to come from a higher licence fee, which currently bankrolls the state owned BBC, and a tax on broadcasters' revenues.

Duncan believes Channel 4 is well placed to run a PSP. He also needs to plug a £100 million funding gap created by a inevitable fall in audience share as multi-channel competition increases in the years leading to digital-only broadcasting.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff