Channel 4 might be sold next year as UK government speeds up review

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UK broadcaster Channel 4 is being teed up for sale as early as next year according to a report.

A consultation on the TV channel’s future is expected to start within weeks, with a sale to a private buyer one of the options under consideration said the FT.

Other possibilities that will be looked at are the sale of a minority stake, a flotation or the channel becoming mutually owned.

Oliver Dowden, the Culture Secretary, flagged last month that the government was keen to do something with the broadcaster but at that time indicated 2024 as the likely date for any change.

The government is urgently looking into the whole area of public sector broadcasting given the growth in streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon, which are seen as rapidly diminishing its value.

John Whittingdale, the media minister who looked at a possible sale of the broadcaster when he was Culture Secretary, is likely to lead the review, the FT said with a decision expected by the end of 2021.

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