UK Entertainment Unions Body “Dismayed” At Channel 4 Privatization Plans; Letter Urges Government Rethink

UK entertainment unions have united to express their “disappointment” over the British government’s plan to sell the broadcaster channel 4 and urged to reconsider it.

The Federation of Entertainment unions, which represents more than 120,000 UK creative workers, has written to Nadine Dorries, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, to say that it is “deeply concerned” with the government’s decision to sell Channel 4. Concerned”, which is owned by the state but makes its revenue commercially, has been rejected by most media professionals in the UK and is largely seen as an ideological, rather than economic, move. The ruling Conservative Party says Channel 4 should be sold to ensure its financial future and ability to compete with global streamers.

Philip Childs, FEU President and Head of Bectu, said: “Channel 4 UK costs the taxpayer nothing, yet gives us a thriving independent production sector, thousands of jobs and world-renowned, innovative content.

“Selling this much-loved and completely self-sustaining public service broadcaster would deal a major blow to the creative industries, which were hardest hit by the pandemic and continue to face a chronic skills shortage, and major consequences for UK broadcasting Huh. landscape.”

The letter cites an Ernst & Young analysis that suggests the creative industry would be worse off with a £2B ($2.4B) privatized Channel 4, that 2,400 jobs would be at risk and that around 60 production companies would also be at risk of closure. Will happen.

The FEU joins a cacophony of voices from the UK media class who oppose the sale, with many believing its sale to sound the death knell for the many small and medium-sized producers who are on Channel 4 commissions. trust.

The FEU includes the Actors Union Equity, the National Union of Journalists, the Musicians Union, the Writers Guild of Great Britain.

Read the full letter here.

We are writing about the government’s proposal to privatize Channel 4. As unions representing the UK creative workforce, we strongly oppose this decision and urge you to reconsider the sale of a much-discussed, highly successful cultural asset.

Channel 4 is a huge success story, constantly pushing the boundaries of entertainment and thought-provoking news content for British audiences. This success builds on the current model, which supports a thriving independent production sector and allows commissioners a degree of exposure and creativity, which benefits the viewing public.

It’s not just the quality ingredients that prove its value – the numbers speak for themselves. The broadcaster’s unique remittances allow it to invest £12 billion directly into the UK production industry, creating 10,000 jobs in the supply chain, a third of which are in nations and territories.

It is a completely self-sustaining broadcaster, investing 100% of its revenue back into the organization at no cost to the taxpayer. After 40 years in public ownership, we are disappointed that the government now seeks to prioritize the interests of shareholders before public service.

The decision to insist on selling such a profitable network is difficult to understand. The economic rationale for privatization, including the claim that a ‘change of ownership will give Channel 4 the tools and freedom to thrive and thrive’, just doesn’t stand up – Channel 4 is already flourishing on its own . It reported a surplus of £101 million in 2021, and it is a strong force driving economic growth, promoting skills, job creation and stimulating growth in the creative industries.

It invests heavily in the UK’s world-leading film and TV sector and supports independent production across the country, with the resources to produce hit TV shows such as Dairy Girls, It’s a Sin and Gogglebox, to name just a few. generates. The UK’s world-class reputation in TV production and film production is fundamental to achieving our global UK ambitions and leveling the government’s agenda. Channel 4’s unique launch allows it to take risks on independent productions, something that would not be guaranteed under a private model.

Any change in Channel 4’s remittances would greatly affect the indigenous UK film industry, and the sale or closure of Film4 with an annual budget of £25 million would have a disastrous effect on the UK film industry, as Channel 4 spends more on British . film than any other UK broadcaster.