Rivals slam Channel 4 public funding plea

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Rival broadcasters have poured cold water on Channel 4’s arguments it hopes will secure public service funds, unveiled in a presentation to politicans, regulators and the media yesterday.

A senior executive from a rival broadcaster told the FT that the plans were not transparent enough and that C4 needed to prove that the £150m public funds it was asking for would go into news and documentaries as promised and not another Big Brother contract.

A BBC executive also criticised Channel 4 for suggesting that its teen drama Skins could be considered public service broadcasting.

The FT also noted that there was little mention of the channel’s intention to launch a network of digital radio stations in yesterday’s presentation.

The Telegraph reported that news bulletins and documentaries like Dispatches would be scrapped if Channel 4 does not get the funding.

A number of MPs at the event, Next on 4, expressed concern at Channel 4’S unwillingness to discuss possible methods of public funding. Conservative MP Roger Gale said the money would have to come from the licence fee or tax payer and that the broadcaster was obliged to say which was preferred.

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