CHANNEL 4 have reported their strongest ever financial performance, with corporate revenues topping £1 billion for the first ever time.

In addition, the public service broadcaster had a record-breaking pre-tax surplus of £101 million. 

Alex Mahon, chief executive of Channel 4 said that these results demonstrate that “financially, Channel 4 is in the most robust health it has ever been”, and that their current business model delivers “dynamic growth, revenue diversification and long-term sustainability”.

The National:

She continued: “Channel 4 is a vital national institution, and its remit is deeply embedded in everything we make, every day and on every platform.

“It is about showcasing things that people might not agree with and that challenge perceptions. It’s about celebrating the rich diversity not only of all our communities across the UK, but also their diversity of thought and opinion.”

These latest accounts will come as a blow to the Westminster government’s claims that their pledge to go ahead with the privatisation of Channel 4 is to allow it “new freedoms to innovate and grow”.

UK Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries in particular argued that there was a need to evaluate whether Channel 4’s public ownership is a “sustainable and viable” model. 

However, many voices have rubbished these claims, pointing to more political reasons allegedly at play.

Tory MP Julian Knight, who chairs the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee at Westminster previously admitted that claims of underlying political motivations held at least some merit, stating “undoubtedly, across much of the party – there is a feeling of payback time, and the word privatisation tickles the ivories of many”. 

Early this year, campaign group We Own It told The National that the Westminster plans to privatise Channel 4 posed great risks for Scotland. Tom Morton of We Own It said:

“If you are an average person on the street in Glasgow, privatisation risks around a 35% drop in regional jobs that are dependent on Channel 4. 

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“So even if you are not someone who works in entertainment and media it is not just those roles it is money in those regions, it’s money in people’s pockets and it contributes to the economic health of the area.”

The Scottish Government have consistently criticised Westminster plans to take Channel 4 out of public ownership, with SNP shadow secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport John Nicolson stating: "Channel 4 represents everything this tawdry UK Government hates. Innovative and diverse, its journalism is challenging - fearlessly tackling secrecy and corruption. We on the SNP benches will do all we can to resist this unjustifiable sell-off."