Channel 4's Remit

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Channel 4's primary purpose is the fulfilment of its public service remit, which is defined in the 2003 Communications Act.

This states that "the public service remit for Channel 4 is the provision of a broad range of high quality and diverse programming which, in particular:

(a) demonstrates innovation, experimentation and creativity in the form and content of programmes;

(b) appeals to the tastes and interests of a culturally diverse society;

(c) makes a significant contribution to meeting the need for the licensed public service channels to include programmes of an educational nature and other programmes of educative value; and

(d) exhibits a distinctive character."

The remit was updated by the 2010 Digital Economy Act, which, in addition to the above, requires Channel 4 to participate in a broader range of activities.

The Digital Economy Act 2010 requires Channel 4 to participate in:

  • the making of a broad range of relevant media content of high quality that, taken as a whole, appeals to the tastes and interests of a culturally diverse society;
  • the making of high quality films intended to be shown to the general public at the cinema in the United Kingdom;
  • the broadcasting and distribution of such content and films;
  • the making of relevant media content that consists of news and current affairs;
  • the making of relevant media content that appeals to the tastes and interests of older children and young adults;
  • the broadcasting or distribution by means of electronic communications networks of feature films that reflect cultural activity in the United Kingdom (including third party films), and
  • the broadcasting or distribution of relevant media content by means of a range of different types of electronic communications networks.

In addition, Channel 4 must also:

  • promote measures intended to secure that people are well informed and motivated to participate in society in a variety of ways;
  • support the development of people with creative talent, in particular people involved in the film industry and at the start of their careers;
  • support and stimulate well-informed debate on a wide range of issues, including by providing access to information and views from around the world and by challenging established views;
  • promote alternative views and new perspectives, and
  • provide access to material that is intended to inspire people to make changes in their lives.

Ofcom Licence

Channel 4's licence from Ofcom, in addition to stipulating the need to meet the remit, places certain specific programme obligations on Channel 4. These establish quotas for programming such as news and current affairs, as well as quotas for original production, independent production, access services provision, and production in the Nations and Regions.

Schedule 9 arrangements

Schedule 9 of the Communications Act 2003 imposes a number of procedural obligations on Channel 4. In compliance with these obligations and in pursuit of good corporate governance Channel 4 has developed a set of arrangements, which can be found below.

The Schedule 9 arrangements have been approved by Ofcom, and Channel 4's compliance with these arrangements is audited on an annual basis by Deloitte.

Useful links

Communications Act 2003 - Section 265

Digital Economy Act 2010 - Section 22

Ofcom Channel 4 Licence and variations

Channel 4's arrangements under Schedule 9 of the Communications Act 2003