For over 30 years, Channel 4 has successfully balanced the twin challenges of delivering to a public service remit while being commercially self-sufficient.
In a world in which consumers increasingly demand that businesses deliver social good, and organisations in the charitable public sectors are raising more and more money from commercial activities, this has become a powerful business model. Today, that model is known as ‘social enterprise’.
Channel 4 is a self-sustaining social enterprise, raising commercial revenues from the market and reinvesting surpluses back into British public service content from UK independent producers.
We do this through a cross-funding model that funds genres such as News, Current Affairs, British Film and Education (which are typically loss-making), with revenues from commercially valuable programming, like Factual Entertainment.