Nadine Dorries and Kirstie Allsopp clash over Channel 4 privatisation

Monday, April 11, 2022
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Nadine Dorries and Kirstie Allsopp Clash Over Channel 4 Privatisation

The Culture Secretary says selling Channel 4 to a private company would be unconservative‚ but the other culture secretary is calling the debate a 'petty vendetta'. Both ITV and Discovery want to buy the broadcaster‚ but why are they fighting? Here's a breakdown of the arguments. Read on to find out who is right. This debate is raging across the country and needs to be settled.

Nadine Dorries says selling Channel 4 is unconservative

The Culture Secretary has hit back at critics of her plans to sell off Channel 4‚ branding them a 'Leftie luvvie lynch mob'. Kirstie Allsopp has defended her. Nadine Dorries‚ one of Boris Johnson's closest Cabinet allies‚ has previously described anti-privatisation campaigners as lazy and overwrought. We want Channel 4‚ which was founded by the Thatcher government‚ to stay in the British public interest‚ and free to air. The sale is being hailed as a way to modernise public service broadcasting. But critics have argued that it will make Channel 4 less competitive with streaming services. Channel 4 says it is disappointed at the sale‚ but it will work with the government to maintain its unique role. The Conservative Party has repeatedly attacked C4 in the past‚ saying that it sealed its own fate by focusing too much on the Right. But it is a different story when a Conservative MP says the broadcaster is a Right-wing organisation. In a letter penned by six Tory MPs‚ Damian Green outlined the reasons why selling C4 would be unconservative. And Bectu chief executive Philippa Childs also attacked Dorries' 'apparent obsession' with competing with subscription-based broadcasters. The BBC‚ meanwhile‚ needs more capital to compete with other broadcasters and digital media. Moreover‚ a private company might not respect the restrictions on selling Channel 4 - a scenario that could end up bringing more money to the exchequer. It is therefore important for the Government to make this commitment in their manifesto. However‚ the decision to sell Channel 4 to private ownership will not be an easy one.

Kirstie Allsopp says it's a 'petty little vendetta'

Kirstie Allsopp has caused quite a stir in recent days‚ after criticising young people for not making the sacrifices necessary to buy a house. The TV host bought her first home at the age of 21 and said she was 'enraged' by the number of people complaining about the cost of housing. She also suggested young people should consider selling their expensive luxury items‚ give up their gym memberships and move back in with their parents. A former head of news at Channel 4 told the Independent that the Government's plans to privatise the station were a 'petty little vendetta to feed Tory supporters.' The ex-head of news at Channel 4 said: 'The only reason we are looking at selling our public service is to make the BBC even more profitable. It's the only way we can compete with the streaming giants. But the decision is a no-win situation for all concerned. The reality is that the UK is in a different world from the one Allsopp grew up in. Her father‚ Charles Allsopp‚ was the 6th Baron Hindlip. This is because she lived in a world where energy bills are 700% higher‚ CPI inflation is at a 30 year high‚ and even the cost of a PS72 Netflix subscription doesn't make buying a house any easier.

ITV

A battle could erupt in Parliament over the sale of Channel 4‚ with MPs considering amendments that would limit its appeal to private owners and reduce the price it can sell the broadcaster for. Critics fear that this would lead to the loss of ad sales leverage for ITV‚ Channel 5 and Sky‚ which would all benefit from increased advertising revenue. But all three parties have said they are not opposed to selling the broadcaster. Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries and television presenter Kirstie Allsopp have exchanged emails over the sale of Channel 4‚ and Ms Allsopp tweeted her reaction to Nadine's article. She questioned whether her article was really ministerial in nature. She also tweeted that if the privatisation of Channel 4 proceeds‚ it would be a good thing. However‚ she said that she believed the broadcaster would thrive under new ownership. The privatisation of Channel 4 has incensed ideologues on both sides of the political spectrum. Channel 4's sale faces a difficult legal battle in the House of Lords‚ where peers are attempting to stall the legislation. The network's back catalogue and in-house production arm are among the main obstacles that will prevent it from attracting commercial interest. The sale of Channel 4 has been in the news in recent months‚ after it was revealed that the government had decided to sell the broadcaster to pay off debts. The sale would free up the broadcaster to grow in the rapidly changing media landscape and be able to invest in new platforms‚ sell its content and create their own production studios. Despite this‚ Channel 4 relies almost entirely on advertising‚ which is increasingly migrating online.

Discovery wants to buy it

Speculation has already begun circulating that Discovery wants to buy Channel 4. Former executives have told media companies that the company is interested in the British broadcaster. But is Discovery really the right buyer for Channel 4? If it is‚ why not? Sky‚ Paramount‚ and Discovery have all declined to comment. But there are some factors that make them the right partners for Channel 4. WarnerMedia is a huge player in the traditional linear world. Discovery‚ for example‚ plans to merge with WarnerMedia to create a giant entertainment company with HBO-style content. Moreover‚ Malone's company would gain access to the BBC's huge library‚ which includes the Lord of the Rings‚ Harry Potter franchise‚ and the Sherlock series. Discovery's CEO‚ David Zaslav‚ has repeatedly said that two is better than one. This way‚ the two giants would be able to make a legitimate run at the bigger juggernauts. Another possible buyer for Channel 4 is Discovery Inc.‚ which has been holding informal talks about an approach to Channel 4 for a while. Sky and ITV are also in the mix. Discovery would completely overhaul Channel 4's operating model‚ and produce its own shows‚ instead of commissioning content from independent producers. The deal would close in mid-2022. Comcast's Sky and ITV would be the other likely suitors‚ but the deal would take longer than expected. Channel 4 has long been considered a highly desirable acquisition target by rival UK broadcasters. Sky and ITV Plc are believed to be interested in Channel 4.

Conservatives say it's holding it back from competing with streaming giants

The current culture secretary has said she wants to sell Channel 4‚ the state-owned broadcaster. But she has since withdrawn the plan. Many Tory MPs have said the plan is a red meat to win over their Tory supporters. Channel 4 launched in 1982‚ so it is unlikely to face a similar fate as the streaming giants. In a statement‚ Nadine Dorries said: It is important to remember that the Conservatives own the majority of Channel 4 and that the government will not be using this money to fund the channel. In addition‚ if Channel 4 is privatised‚ it will have greater freedom to compete. It must be able to innovate and appeal to young audiences. Channel 4 is a small state broadcaster‚ and it needs the money to expand and compete. That is why I oppose this policy. But I don't want to see Channel 4 go under because it is inefficiently financed. The sale process may take a few months‚ but it would free up the BBC to invest in new platforms and generate its own intellectual property. But there is one catch - it will need a Commons vote. The Government's decision could spark a backbench revolt. It's not clear what will happen in the interim. So‚ for now‚ the Conservatives' plans to sell Channel 4 are likely to remain in the background for a while. Critics of the decision include Charlie Parsons‚ creator of The Big Breakfast‚ who argued that the channel would be privatised if it was no longer public. They argue that a privatised Channel 4 would have fewer production companies and no incentive to develop the sector. Ruth Davidson is another Conservative who has publicly criticised the move. While there are many reasons to oppose the sale of Channel 4‚ some say it could help the indy sector.