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About Channel 4

 

The Channel 4 service was established under the Broadcasting Act 1981and was originally provided for by the Independent Broadcasting Authority (which no longer exists).  The Channel Four Television Corporation was established under the Broadcasting Act 1990 and all its publisher/broadcaster functions were transferred over to the new Corporation in 1993.  It transmits across the whole of the UK, except some parts of Wales which are covered by the Welsh language S4C. It is available on all digital platforms (terrestrial, satellite and cable) as well as through conventional analogue transmission.

 

It is a publicly owned corporation whose board is appointed by the television regulator - the Independent Television Commission / OFCOM (after Dec 2003) - in agreement with the Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport. Unlike the BBC, Channel 4 receives no public funding.  It is funded entirely by its own commercial activities.

 

It is required by the Communications Act of 2003 to:

 

·        demonstrate innovation, experimentation and creativity

·        appeal to the tastes and interests of a culturally diverse society

·        include programmes of an educational nature

·        exhibit a distinctive character


Channel 4 is a publisher/broadcaster.  It does not produce its own programmes but commissions them from more than 300 independent production companies right across the UK, making it the major stimulus and outlet for Britain’s highly successful independent production sector.  It invests heavily in training and talent development throughout the industry.

 

As well as the main Channel 4 service, the Channel Four Group operates a variety of pay channels, including the E4 entertainment channel, E4+1, and three film channels.  Through its Film Four division it produces and co-produces feature films for the UK and global markets.  It also operates a wide variety of online and broadband services that cover entertainment, information, education, health, careers and many other areas.

 

More than three-quarters of the UK’s population watch Channel 4 services in the course of an average week.

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