Thank you for contacting me about Channel 4, of which I am a big supporter.
Channel 4 has been hugely successful over the years in delivering the aims set out at its creation in 1982, including supporting the independent production sector in the UK, delivering diverse and risk-taking content, and contributing to the wider public goals of public service broadcasting.
As you might be aware, Channel 4 is entirely commercially funded, but it has been publicly owned since it began broadcasting. The main reason it was set up as a publicly owned, commercially run station was to provide greater choice. Today though, audiences can now watch what they want, whenever they want, how they want, across a range of internet-enabled personal devices. The independent production sector has also grown enormously so that it now supplies content to a wide range of broadcasters and streaming services.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) is concerned though about the long-term future of Channel 4 and, through its consultation, considers it needs access to capital, and a strengthened ability to invest in its services, which is not available under public ownership.
I understand that the Department is currently analysing the feedback it has received and will respond in due course.