Channel 4’s decision to take its digital channels free-to-air has been rewarded with a 46% increase in sales revenues. The launch of More 4 in October 2005 and the subsequent inclusion of E4 and Film4 on Freeview, in May 2005 and July 2006 helped sales revenues for the digital channels rise to £128 million (€186m) in 2005, compared to £88m in 2004. Group turnover in 2006 climbed by 5% to a record £937m.
It was a bright spot in Channel 4’s Annual Report, which also reported a 70% fall in profits to £14.5 million. The broadcaster is also under attack for the remuneration paid to chief executive Andy Duncan, whose payments are expected to top £1 million for the first time, a rise of £622m including bonuses.
Significantly, Channel 4 was able to grow its share of total TV audiences, against the downward trend of the other three terrestrial broadcasters. Channel 4’s share of TV viewing grew by 10% to a record annual share of 12.1%.