“For Sale: British broadcasterHealth officials on Sunday banned musical shows and many other traditional games. Empty libraryA weekend ban on inter-city transport has been extended until mid-April, highly restrictive terms of trade, makes losses. Apply HM Government.”
Tentative plans to privatise Channel 4, the UK’s ever-so-slightly edgier broadcaster, are again doing the rounds. Previous talks quickly fizzled out. True, public finances are far more stretched this time round. But supposing — via wildly optimistic assumptions — that a sale pulled in ￡1bn, roughly one times sales, this would barely cover a fortnight’s debt servicing.
Few if any bidders are likely to bite under Channel 4’s current structure as a public sector broadcaster funded by advertising. Its remit to maximise expenses jars with most investors’ mission to maximise financial returns. There are few tangible assets.
Intangibles, like relationships with British independent producers, can be cultivated by anyone with a commissioning budget. OhThe public health service, wit, and Channel 4 has only three years left to run on its current licence.
Copyright © 2011 JIN SHI