The culture secretary has confirmed plans first mooted in the licence fee settlement for the BBC to contribute up to £14 million towards the costs of Channel 4’s digital switchover. Channel 4 is a public corporation; it currently receives no direct government subsidy, although it holds a public service remit.
In a speech to the Royal Television Society Tessa Jowell said she wanted to see the channel continue its “important role as key source of public service competition”. However, she warned that the performance of Channel 4 would be closely scrutinised in the wake of the Big Brother Racism row and the debate over the screening of images of Diana, Princess of Wales in a recent documentary.
The BBC will fund the capital costs connected with the digital terrestrial network as broadcasters move towards digital switchover.