The broadcaster wants to expand internationally – if privatisation doesn’t get in the way.
Channel 4 boss Alex Mahon has confirmed it’s looking at launching a global video-on-demand streaming service. The as yet unnamed service would offer international viewers programmes including Dispatches and content from international drama strand Walter Presents.
The service would be in addition to its established UK service, All 4. As Channel 4 doesn’t make any of its own programmes, agreements with individual independent producers would need to be in place.
Speaking at the opening of Channel 4’s new Leeds HQ, Alex Mahon said: “The Channel 4 brand commands huge creative respect internationally – whether it is through the global formats that we help create, the strength of our international news, or the success of Film4.
“We think that we have the opportunity to preserve what makes us British and distinctive whilst building our business even more outside the UK, find more ways to support and incentivise global growth for production partners while extending Channel 4’s reach, growing our revenue streams and projecting British culture and values abroad.”
The broadcaster is currently the subject of a government consultation over its future. The government is eager to sell Channel 4. With potential bidders including Discovery and ITV, the planned global streaming service may never launch. Instead, Channel 4’s current on-demand service could end up being swallowed up.