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Channel 4 sell-off ‘delayed due to backlash’

DCMS is said to have been inundated with submissions following the government's consultation on the future of the broadcaster

The UK government’s plan to privatise Channel 4 has reportedly been delayed because culture secretary Nadine Dorries has been inundated by opposition against the move.

According to the Sunday Times, over 60,000 submissions have been sent to the DCMS in response to the government’s consultation on the future of the broadcaster.

Dorries was due to respond to the submissions this month, but the report says this has been put on hold and may not happen until January, which would also push back any possible sale.

A number of companies are thought to be interested in acquiring Channel 4, including one headed by former CEO Michael Grade.

While giving evidence to the House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee hearing into the future of Channel 4 last month, Grade called for the broadcaster’s ownership to change “before it succumbs to the inevitable decline”.

“It’s in a straitjacket of regulation and statutes, which completely prevented it from taking advantage of what it has achieved so far. The world has changed. The arguments for the status quo of backward looking back to an age of huge government intervention,” added Grade.