Channel 4

Broadcasting white paper – our response 

In response to the Government’s long awaited white paper into broadcasting reforms in the UK published today (28 April 2022) WGGB remains concerned that the Government is pushing ahead with its unnecessary and controversial plans to privatise Channel 4, freeze the BBC Licence Fee and review its funding model.

These, and other proposals, will have a devastating impact on creative workers, the creative industry and the wider UK economy.

The selling-off of Channel 4 is one of several measures put forward in the white paper, which also includes proposals to regulate video-on-demand providers, simplify the public service remit of the main UK broadcasters, introduce a new prominence regime for on-demand television, and review who can apply for High-end TV Tax Relief, to name a few.

WGGB will continue to campaign to save the BBC and Channel 4, and will be formulating its plans in the coming weeks, working with sister unions and organisations in the industry.

WGGB General Secretary Ellie Peers said: “This white paper contains the good, the bad and the downright ugly.

“We welcome the plans to bring streamers like Netflix and Amazon under the jurisdiction of Ofcom, but we remain opposed to the privatisation of Channel 4, the freeze on the BBC Licence Fee and a further review of the Licence Fee funding model.

“Our public service broadcasters are the jewel in the crown of our world-leading creative industries and they are about so much more than high-quality content provision.

“BBC Writers Room nurtures the next generation of screenwriters, BBC Bitesize provides study support for school children, while Channel 4 drives independent production in the nations and regions and reflects the diversity of voices within the UK.

“We will be campaigning hard to protect our public service broadcasters and the creative workforce that powers the sector.”