NEWS: Grade begins fresh offensive to cut off C4 fund link to ITV

Michael Grade, the chief executive of Channel 4, this week launched a fresh campaign to break the funding ties that bind it to ITV.

Michael Grade, the chief executive of Channel 4, this week launched a

fresh campaign to break the funding ties that bind it to ITV.



At a major presentation to advertisers and agencies on Wednesday, Grade

said that the Queen’s Speech to Parliament this month will offer a

legislative window to abolish the funding formula that forces Channel 4

to hand over excess revenues to ITV.



The Queen’s Speech will incorporate a broadcasting bill, and Grade is

confident that Channel 4 has all-party support in Parliament for the

abolition of the formula. ‘I will not rest until our money is returned

to us,’ he said. ‘We do not need a subsidy. Why should ITV?’



Grade said that the most galling thing about the funding formula is that

it penalises Channel 4 for ITV’s problems. With ITV’s revenue expected

to be flat in November and December, Channel 4 will perform

proportionately better and Grade predicted that ITV’s slide will cost

Channel 4 an extra pounds 4 million to pounds 5 million in subsidy to

ITV.



He also forecast that Channel 4 will take 11 per cent of total viewing

for the first time this year, ‘more audiences than ever at a time when

our major commercial competitor is perhaps not performing to the same

degree’.



Grade dismissed the suggestion that Channel 5 would pose a significant

threat to Channel 4.



He said: ‘It will sharpen up everyone’s act - but I suspect its success

will depend on its ability to chip away at the mass ITV/BBC1 audiences.

We will continue to hammer away at the more discerning and younger end

of the market.’



Become a member of Campaign from just £46 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk ,plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content