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Protecting Channel 4

Published: 28 Sep 2015 00:01

Culture Secretary backs public ownership of TV corporation.

The Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop has expressed concern over apparent proposals from the UK Government to privatise the Channel 4 Corporation.

Ms Hyslop has written to her counterpart John Whittingdale in the UK Government looking for his reassurance that any future plans for Channel 4 will be properly consulted on and will involve all devolved nations and regions, as well as the broadcasting sector.

The Cabinet Secretary said,

"Channel 4 plays an essential and distinctive role as a public service broadcaster, and remain an indispensable part of wider public service broadcasting provision. Its role is not only material to the future of Public Service Broadcasting but are critical to the wider considerations around the BBC Royal Charter Renewal.

"We want to see a stronger television and film production sector across the UK and in Scotland but this isn't achieved by privatising national institutions at the risk of damaging their very foundations.

"The Scottish Government would oppose the privatisation of the Channel 4 Corporation. Channel 4 occupies a unique position in the delivery of public service broadcasting. It champions new formats and commissioning experimental programmes. Creativity and bravery are assets to our nation, not just in the television sector, and Channel 4 has an important role to play.

"We are strongly committed to the principle of public service broadcasting and we would encourage Channel 4 to make better use of the talent and skills in the Scottish production sector, but we do not believe that privatisation would represent an improvement to the service Channel 4 provides."