Scottish government opposes sale

Hyslop raises concerns over C4 privatisation ‘plan’

Fiona Hyslop 2Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop has expressed concern over speculation that the UK Government wants to privatise Channel 4.

Ms Hyslop has written to her counterpart John Whittingdale in the UK Government looking for his reassurance that there will be full consultation with the nations and regions on any plans to change ownership of the broadcaster.

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.”

She said 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.”

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