Is Channel 4 about to be privatised? We look at the evidence

A photographer caught a snap of a secret document

The government has refused to confirm if there are plans in place to privatise Channel 4.

A picture taken by political photographer Steve Back showed a document that appeared to feature privatisation options for the non-profit television network.


In response to the photograph, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said: “Channel 4 has an important remit and we are looking at a range of options as to how to continue to deliver this, including options put forward by Channel 4.”

This isn’t the first time the privatisation of the station has been mooted. Plans have been drawn up and ditched in the past and, in fact, back in August we noted Channel 4 was among a number of publicly-owned assets the government was considering selling.

In a bid to raise £32bn, George Osborne has sold a number of assets, including the UK-owned stake in the Eurostar, Lloyds Bank and the student loans book.

RBS, the Royal Mail and a number of other assets are in the process of being sold.

The government has moved 19 assets into a company it owns, including Channel 4 and the Met Office, and has said it will sell some of these assets in order to raise £12bn.

Channel 4 is likely to be one of these, as some of the others, such as Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and the National Nuclear Laboratory could not feasibly be privatised.

Here’s the list:

  • CDC Group
  • Channel 4
  • Companies House
  • Electricity Settlements Company
  • Insolvency Service
  • Land Registry
  • London and Continental Railways
  • Low Carbon Contracts Company
  • Met Office
  • NATS
  • Nuclear Decommissioning Authority
  • National Nuclear Laboratory
  • Nuclear Liabilities Fund
  • Ordnance Survey
  • Post Office
  • The Royal Mint
  • UK Export Finance
  • Urenco
  • Working Links



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Readers' comments (2)

  • How convenient, seems like who ever was holding the document was working with the photographer, whether this company is for sale or not,should this person behave in such a way, leaking documents is still a criminal offence I thought!! and a breech of his employment contract, lets get a grip.

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