Channel 4 chief executive Andy Duncan has predicted swingeing cuts to TV advertising budgets next year.
Speaking at the Royal Television Society’s 2006 conference, Duncan said the UK advertising market will fall by between 6% and 7% this year alone, and that "all the messages we’re hearing are that there will be a decline in 2007".
He would not reveal how much he thought the market would fall by, but added: "We’re not going to plan for advertising growth." And he said that not owning its own content made Channel 4 "vulnerable".
Duncan said the broadcaster was talking to regulator Ofcom about how to plug the gap in budgets and did not rule out the possibility of the partial privatisation of Channel 4. However, he added that complete privatisation would adversely affect the broadcaster’s remit.