Revenues at the Channel 4 have surpassed £1 billion for the first time in the UK public broadcaster’s history.
The results were published Friday following an admission from the Department for Culture that it had pushed for amendments that made the case for its controversial privatisation of the 40-year-old broadcaster. On Tuesday, the DCMS Committee heard Channel 4 chief executive Alex Mahon had been involved in a behind-the-scenes battle as to what should be included in the report that was originally scheduled for publication in May.
Whether the privatisation goes ahead as planned is in the hands of the new prime minister once the new Conservative leader is installed in early September.
“2021 was an outstanding year of creative excellence, exceptional digital growth and record-breaking financial performance that saw Channel 4 over-deliver on its remit and successfully continue its transformation into a digital-first PSB,” commented Alex Mahon Chief Executive, Channel 4. “These results demonstrate that Channel 4’s business model delivers dynamic growth, revenue diversification and long-term sustainability. Financially, Channel 4 is in the most robust health it has ever been and our results have laid the foundations for ongoing investment, financial success and stability.”
Nearly, one-fifth of the £1.2 billion in revenues came from digital advertising, a 40% increase year on year.
Streaming service All 4 recorded 1.5 billion views, an increase of 21%, and is on track to deliver two billion by 2025.
Regulator Ofcom welcomed the report, but again criticised the broadcaster for the extended outage of its subtitling, signing and audio description services in Autumn 2021 that had resulted in a breach of its licence conditions.
There was also criticism for the delayed online content strand for teenagers and called for a clearer strategy around its approach to investing in high-quality content for children and teenagers.