Author Topic: Privatising Channel 4  (Read 3285 times)

Privatising Channel 4
« on: June 18, 2021, 11:45:43 AM »
There have been stories for some time about the government wanting to privatise Channel 4, but now they've actually launched a consultation about the future of the channel and begun talking about floating it on the stock market or selling it off to another media company as early as next year. John Whittingdale will be overseeing the consultation, a man who is manifestly unsuitable for the job.

This would be bad for the range of programmes produced. It would be bad for reducing the opportunities for new talent. It would also be really bad for independent producers - it will disproportionally hit smaller production companies who are the kind additionally about to suffer with BBC Four becoming an archive channel rather than commissioning new programmes.

Selling it off seems more likely as an option than floatation given its size and competitors. Last time they were talking about this, Discovery were the main company to show an interest and were reported to have had meetings at Number 10. Discovery's controlling shareholder, John Malone, via Liberty Global also owns the largest stake in ITV and half of Virgin Media as well as Discovery being one of the investors in GB News. With Sky owned by NBC Universal, Channel 5 by Viacom and most of the big production companies supplying the BBC now owned by Hollywood studios none of this is great for original British programming.

The FT's piece on this ends with:

Quote
Patrick Barwise, a professor at London Business School who wrote a report on privatisation for Channel 4 in 2016, said that proposal was dropped because “the likely proceeds were small and the claimed benefits largely illusory”.

“All these factors still apply, if anything even more today,” he said, pointing to the risks to UK independent producers and C4’s public service remit. “In particular, the likely proceeds are probably even lower now.”

So it's just a pointless ideological decision with the added benefit for the Tories of likely removing Channel 4 News from the airwaves. The channel doesn't even own most of the programming it has commissioned so nobody would by buying it for its programme library either.

dr beat

  • QUO ARE NOT F*****G REPETITIVE!
Re: Privatising Channel 4
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2021, 11:50:14 AM »
Could that mean that all the good old stuff on All4 might end up behind paywalls?

ZoyzaSorris

  • Brimming with innards
Re: Privatising Channel 4
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2021, 11:52:01 AM »
Blue tick idiots’ endless facile twattery of the last half decade ultimately responsible for the final destruction of the uk media landscape that gave so many of them their careers.

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Re: Privatising Channel 4
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2021, 11:59:42 AM »
Blue tick idiots’ endless facile twattery of the last half decade ultimately responsible for the final destruction of the uk media landscape that gave so many of them their careers.

They don't care where the money's coming from, as long as it's rolling in they'll read whatever it says on the autocue.

Re: Privatising Channel 4
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2021, 01:03:56 PM »
The model for public media in general seems to be fundamentally broken and unfit for purpose, there's no sense of what a healthy media/culture should look like, a big percentage of politicians appear start off operating in the media either as journalists or in PR and treat the media like a festival toilet, an ugly necessity between bouts of self-serving fun who's sole and correct function is to take your shit and not remind you of the stink.  That is the beginning and end of the utility of the media for them.

As such their short-sightedness has led them to neglect the model only works if people trust it, which they don't, left leaning voters tended to trust the media more, the last six years have eviscerated that (in a way not even the Iraq war managed) https://www.theguardian.com/media/2020/jun/16/leftwing-voters-lead-decline-in-trust-in-uk-news-media

Channel four news is often terrible, especially on anything that touches on the geopolitical, full on Atlantic Council hymn sheet. The kind of intervention in the media sphere that would be appropriate in the public realm backed by the state is beyond the imagination of anyone in power, or with the potential to be in power, TV stations make sense when cameras and broadcasting equipment are very expensive and should be centralised, today practically anyone with a phone has a production suite in their pocket, TV presenting is not a rare skill that can fairly claim six figure renumeration, if it's a skill at all (arguably the aptitude is as much to do with the absence of something rather than a presence). it would combine the ethos of social media sites with production and communication resources, creating an active adaptive structure, something like wikipedia (or even this forum), but with production resources and enough marketing so that someone reasonably interested in media on subject A has a decent chance to encounter it.

It hadn't occurred to me it wasn't a private entity until reading this. The fact that sometimes in faeces there are wee bits of undigested hypothetically edible food, doesn't chance the fact it's faeces. I don't know if they media has gotten worse over the past twenty years or with time the various dumb tricks don't work as well on you, but it looks as if Britain has the worst media in the world at the moment, Channel four news occasionally pissing off Bojo and Co, doesn't change diddly. It would be worse if C4 was privatised, but it barely makes any money anyway and the realm in general is completely dysfunctional. The fact that the odd bit of Channel four is recognisably food doesn't change that fact it's food in the context of being enmeshed in the scuttery bowl splatter that is the British/anglophere media in general and something that comes out of an anus isn't appropriate for going into your mouth.

Butchers Blind

  • Who blons a dumb de now?
Re: Privatising Channel 4
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2021, 01:05:25 PM »
Tories would love to remove C4 news. Its been one of the few news channels that's been more critical of the government through the Covid crisis.
Remember when Gove turned up to that debate with Johnson's dad trying to get in but C4 told them to get lost.

Re: Privatising Channel 4
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2021, 01:54:20 PM »
Could that mean that all the good old stuff on All4 might end up behind paywalls?

Too early to tell but can see how less popular stuff could easily disappear under a fully commercial Channel 4.

bgmnts

  • Depressed to the point of poisonous toxicity.
Re: Privatising Channel 4
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2021, 02:04:44 PM »
Thank God. We need more privatisation.

Re: Privatising Channel 4
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2021, 11:29:50 AM »
I can't see the public service requirements lasting, even if the buyer promises. E4 which is indistinguishable from ITV2 will do fine, and a lot of C4 shows seem packed with luxury car ads, but any pretence at catering for minorities will be replaced by wall to wall Made In Chelsea spin-offs.

Then they can sell off the BBC and abolish impartiality rules and we'll just watch Netflix 24/7.

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: Privatising Channel 4
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2021, 01:41:17 PM »
I can't see the public service requirements lasting, even if the buyer promises. E4 which is indistinguishable from ITV2 will do fine, and a lot of C4 shows seem packed with luxury car ads, but any pretence at catering for minorities will be replaced by wall to wall Made In Chelsea spin-offs.

Then they can sell off the BBC and abolish impartiality rules and we'll just watch Netflix TikTok 24/7.

Re: Privatising Channel 4
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2021, 02:51:58 PM »
I would've been absolutely rabid about the sale of the BBC ten, maybe even five years ago. But watching how it's just paved over most of the podcast industry with million pound ad campaigns, big bucks to through at stunt presenters and capitalising on every single property it has to see off homegrown viewing shows, I think fuck 'em.
Channel 4 I have no strong feelings about. It's the same old shite as the other channels anyway really. And it has a habit of stealing shows from more creative rivals anyway. Yeah. So fuck 'em.

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Re: Privatising Channel 4
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2021, 04:39:50 PM »
Has it really put a dent in the podcast industry though? I hardly see people chatting about things and I don't know what goes on outside of traditional radio shows.

Re: Privatising Channel 4
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2021, 07:40:19 PM »
Has it really put a dent in the podcast industry though? I hardly see people chatting about things and I don't know what goes on outside of traditional radio shows.
Massive. Particularly in sports podcasting. Getting shows listed is harder than before as BBC just use star power (and pay someone like Crouch £50k t host a podcast which couldn't sustain that fee if it were commercial). There's also now more and more clauses being introduced into BBC TV shows forbidding people to appear on podcasts discussing their shows. Hyper cunts as ever. "Oooo! Thta's popular. It's OUR NOW FOR THE NATION!" PS - here's another drab podcast on what it's like to be a rich parent living in London hosted by someone off Strictly.
And simply from a competition point of view when every Sounds pod has 30ft high billboards, TV campaigns, radio ads and more thrown at promoting them.

Re: Privatising Channel 4
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2021, 05:07:56 PM »
DCMS paper out today says that a sale of Channel 4 is the government's preferred option and it would ditch the rules that require it to buy all programmes from independent producers, which would badly hit smaller production companies. Has been talk that ITV should buy it and then Channel 4 could become its youth brand.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/consultation-launched-on-potential-change-of-ownership-of-channel-4


Re: Privatising Channel 4
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2021, 05:32:21 PM »
It is almost impressive the tory devotion to making everything worse. Channel 4 still produces the occasional good thing, better put a stop to that.

Wonderful Butternut

  • Celtic Druid God of Battle
Re: Privatising Channel 4
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2021, 05:38:51 PM »
It is almost impressive the tory devotion to making everything worse. Channel 4 still produces the occasional good thing, better put a stop to that.

Crush even the slightest dissenter. C4 haven't lined up with the BBC to rim Jonno's hole, so now it must die.

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Re: Privatising Channel 4
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2021, 05:57:46 PM »
DCMS paper out today says that a sale of Channel 4 is the government's preferred option and it would ditch the rules that require it to buy all programmes from independent producers, which would badly hit smaller production companies. Has been talk that ITV should buy it and then Channel 4 could become its youth brand.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/consultation-launched-on-potential-change-of-ownership-of-channel-4

Channel 4's 'youth' channel, aimed at 16-34 year olds now has an average audience age of 42.

Upthread it says people in Discovery were sniffing about it and there's close links between some of the top bollocks and ITV.

It kind of feels like most of ITV's staples have been around since around the time ITVplc homogenized everything and dropped the regional branding. Which is a shame since although ITV was kind of always a bit colour by numbers, but it felt like some of the regions (LWT, Granada, Central etc) did take it upon themselves to make ambitious programmes. Now it feels like they're a hyper-efficient SFC factory that knows to stick with what works.

STV productions has a similar problem and that means their 'good' dramas end up going to BBC/CH4 while they bang out Catchphrase for the 'Channel Three' main feed.

kalowski

  • Maclunkey
Re: Privatising Channel 4
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2021, 06:25:00 PM »
Remember when C4 was genuinely good rather than the utter shit it is now?

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Re: Privatising Channel 4
« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2021, 06:30:05 PM »
Remember when C4 was genuinely good rather than the utter shit it is now?

I reckon big brother and digital expansion fucked it. Slapped lots of BB on the main channel and made other stuff on E4 on the cheap.

Seems like 4 later was happening just before that, which was a mixture of troma films and budget stuff like vidz that all seemed quite surreal and odd. I think around the same time I caught the back-half of Videodrome on there and remain fascinated with that film to this day.

Re: Privatising Channel 4
« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2021, 06:37:14 PM »
Didn't ITV share advertising revenue in the early days or have I got that wrong?

I do miss the old channel 4- I was thinking the other day about when they had a Samuel Beckett season- his short plays on at tea time. Difficult to imagine now but it wasn't really that long ago.

So I understand in a way it is difficult to defend.

But it is also difficult to see how selling it off and getting rid of the good aspects of its remit- putting profit back into programming rather than share holders etc, actual quite good news- is going to do anything other than remove any redeeming features it still retains.

canadagoose

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Re: Privatising Channel 4
« Reply #20 on: July 06, 2021, 07:51:58 PM »
Screw modernism, let's return to independent ITV companies and Channel 4's advertising being controlled by them (like it was pre-'93?)

Re: Privatising Channel 4
« Reply #21 on: July 07, 2021, 12:53:06 AM »
Endemol's Big Brother I think completely gutted the channel akin to the worst of UK tabloid culture in the late 90s. I know that some people on the production staff of BB were old Sun journalists etc.

moved it from quirky arty programming, the Crystal Maze, weird comedy (Big Night Out, Harry Hill) and Christmas classics (The Snowman, A Grand Day Out) to fucking gutter bullshit by the 00s. cant say i give a fuck about it now. still. I remember staying up late to watch Pets and Fist of the North Star.

Re: Privatising Channel 4
« Reply #22 on: July 07, 2021, 01:34:09 AM »
Didn't ITV share advertising revenue in the early days or have I got that wrong?

Yep. Up until 1993, the advert breaks on Channel 4 were managed entirely by regional ITV franchisees. I remember The Big Breakfast doing a New Year's Eve special where they set up a pretty funny gag about the types of adverts Channel 4 would attract and here it is in glorious streamovision: https://youtu.be/Z7LsBA4WKpE

Re: Privatising Channel 4
« Reply #23 on: July 07, 2021, 01:40:06 AM »
They even had ITV trailers I recall

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: Privatising Channel 4
« Reply #24 on: July 07, 2021, 07:09:16 AM »
DAYS GONE


DESTROY AND NEVER REBUILD

Re: Privatising Channel 4
« Reply #25 on: July 07, 2021, 09:29:19 AM »
Yep. Up until 1993, the advert breaks on Channel 4 were managed entirely by regional ITV franchisees.

The problem with that was that although it meant Channel 4 got a guaranteed income and didn't have to worry about ratings, ITV companies got to keep any extra money they made and consistently managed a nice large profit off the deal which Channel 4 would rather have spent on programmes.

canadagoose

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Re: Privatising Channel 4
« Reply #26 on: July 07, 2021, 10:02:47 AM »
They even had ITV trailers I recall
Yeah, even through the 90s. I remember them as late as 1997.

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Re: Privatising Channel 4
« Reply #27 on: July 07, 2021, 01:40:24 PM »
The problem with that was that although it meant Channel 4 got a guaranteed income and didn't have to worry about ratings, ITV companies got to keep any extra money they made and consistently managed a nice large profit off the deal which Channel 4 would rather have spent on programmes.

Wasn't part of it to reimburse the IBA (until it became NTL) for doing all the tech to set up for the new channel?

Re: Privatising Channel 4
« Reply #28 on: July 07, 2021, 01:42:52 PM »
If this impacts Taskmaster then I am against it.

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Re: Privatising Channel 4
« Reply #29 on: July 07, 2021, 07:30:22 PM »
If this impacts Taskmaster then I am against it.

Thought that was done by Dave/UKTV?

Nvm, seems it moved. Didn't know that.

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