Ofcom will today warn that Channel 4 faces a £100m-a-year funding gap by 2012 and raise the idea of diverting licence fee funds from the BBC to the channel. Ed Richards, the media regulator’s chief executive will make the comments in a speech at the Royal Television Society tonight (September 17).
Channel 4 chief executive Andy Duncan has welcomed the comments expected to be made by Richards.
The forecast however excludes the cost of additional public service responsibilities that the channel unveiled earlier this year in its “Next on 4” plans, which is expected to cost in excess of £50m a year.
“We’re very encouraged that Ofcom now broadly accepts our forecasts on the size and urgency of our funding gap ad agrees that identifying a new funding mechanism for Channel 4 is a pressing priority,” Duncan says.
In his speech tonight, Richards is expected to say that for Channel 4 to break even it will need to cut its investment in public service content each year until 2012.
He is also expected to say that ITV and Five could be free of public service broadcasting obligations by 2014.