c4ident-dinerChannel 4 chief executive Andy Duncan has asked the government to give the broadcaster free space on Freeview to allow it to launch more channels, rather than a lump cash sum.
The Times reports that Channel 4 is concerned that it will struggle to make a profit in the digital age unless the government steps in to help with the cost of migrating to digital.

At current rates, a channel slot on Freeview is worth up to £5m. Duncan suggested that Channel 4 should have part of a seventh multiplex on Freeview, which it can use to launch new channels, instead of a cash lump sum that would be reinvested into public service programming. If the government agrees to Duncan’s demands it will not be able to give the channel additional spectrum on Freeview until after digital switchover, which is earmarked to be completed by 2012.

Last year, when the BBC model of funding was called into question, Duncan touched on the £100m-a-year shortfall in the lead-up to digital switchover and requested the BBC licence fee be top-sliced so Channel 4 could carve out its future.

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By Expat