ITV has reportedly taken advice as to whether its bankers Credit Suisse and Robey Warshaw as to whether it should submit a bid for Channel 4.
It’s thought Channel 4 could be sold off for around £1 billion.
The Telegraph suggests ITV is considering a bid for the broadcaster, which would lead to it controlling 70 per cent of the British TV advertising market.
A source told the newspaper: “The best bet for the UK is that ITV and Channel 4 combine so the nation has one strong commercial public service broadcaster.
“A merger of ITV and Channel 4’s streaming services would create a much more substantial player in the digital space,” added the source. “It would double in size and be classed as a proper contender to the Americans.”
Full details of the government’s plans are expected to be included in a yet-to-be-published white paper.
Other companies said to be interested in purchasing Channel 4 include Sky, Discovery and Channel 5’s owner Paramount.