The Federation of Leisure Unions, which represents over 120,000 UK inventive employees, has written to the Secretary of State for Digital, Tradition, Media and Sport Nadine Dorries to say it’s “deeply involved” by the federal government’s choice to promote Channel 4, which is owned by the state however makes its revenues commercially,
The sale has been rejected by most media professionals within the UK and plenty of see it as an ideological, somewhat than financial, transfer. The ruling Conservative celebration says Channel 4 have to be bought to make sure its monetary future and talent to compete with international streamers.
FEU President and Head of Bectu, Philippa Childs, stated: “Channel 4 prices the UK taxpayer exactly nothing, but offers us a thriving unbiased manufacturing sector, 1000’s of jobs and world-renowned, revolutionary content material.
“Promoting this much-loved and fully self-sustaining public service broadcaster will deal a significant blow to the inventive industries, who had been among the many hardest hit by the pandemic and proceed to face a persistent expertise scarcity, and have main penalties for the UK broadcasting panorama.”
The letter cites Ernst and Younger evaluation that implies the inventive industries might be £2B ($2.4B) worse off with a privatized Channel 4, that 2,400 jobs can be in danger and that round 60 productions firms would even be susceptible to closure.
The FEU joins a cacophony of voices from the UK media sectoe who oppose the sale, with many believing its sale will sound the demise knell for a lot of small- and medium-sized producers who depend on Channel 4 commissions.
Learn the total letter right here.
We’re writing concerning the Authorities’s proposal to privatise Channel 4. As unions representing the UK’s inventive workforce, we strongly oppose this choice and urge you to rethink the sale of a much-loved, extremely profitable cultural asset.
Channel 4 is a significant success story, persistently pushing the boundaries of leisure and thought-provoking information content material for British audiences. This success is constructed on the again of the present model, which helps a thriving unbiased manufacturing sector and permits commissioners a level of threat and creativity, of which the viewing public reap the advantages.
It’s not simply the standard content material that proves its worth – the numbers communicate for themselves. The broadcaster’s distinctive remit permits it to immediately make investments £12 billion into the UK manufacturing business, creating 10,000 jobs within the provide chain, with a 3rd of those within the nations and areas.
It’s a utterly self-sustaining broadcaster, that invests 100 per cent of its income again into the organisation, for free of charge to the taxpayer. After 40 years in public possession, we’re dismayed that the Authorities now desires to prioritise the pursuits of shareholders forward of public service.
It’s obscure the choice to insist on promoting off such a worthwhile community. The financial argument for privatisation, together with the assertion that ‘a change of possession will give Channel 4 the instruments and freedom to flourish and thrive’, merely doesn’t arise – Channel 4 is demonstrably already thriving by itself. In 2021 it reported a surplus of £101 million, and is a robust pressure for financial progress, boosting expertise, creating jobs and stimulating progress throughout the inventive industries.
It invests closely within the UK’s world-leading movie and TV sector and helps unbiased manufacturing throughout the nation, producing the sources to supply hit TV reveals equivalent to Derry Women, It’s a Sin, and Gogglebox, to call just some. The UK’s world class status in TV manufacturing and filmmaking is prime to attaining our World Britain ambitions and the Authorities’s levelling up agenda. Channel 4’s distinctive remit permits it to take dangers onindependent productions, one thing which might not be assured underneath a non-public model.
Any change to the Channel 4 remit would very probably impression the indigenous Britain Movie Business and the sale or closure of Film4, with an annual funds of £25 million, would have a devastating impact on the UK movie business given Channel 4 spends extra on British movie than every other UK broadcaster.