(Alliance News) - The UK government is looking to privatise public broadcaster Channel 4 as soon at next year, Financial Times reported on Thursday.
Channel 4 is a British free-to-air public-service television network, perhaps best known for hosting the Great British Bake Off.
Government ministers will be launching a formal consultation within a week on the future of the 38-year old channel, with privatisation happening as early as 2022, the newspaper said.
The advent of video streaming will likely have an effect on any sale price of the channel, which is funded solely by advertising, according to the FT.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has decided to reopen the debate over the "best model" for the government-owned but privately funded broadcaster, "including an outright sale", the FT said, citing "people briefed on the plans".
Privatising the channel has been explored by ministers more than half a dozen times since the 1980s but has consistently been ruled out because of the likely impact on programming and the independent television sector.
By Greg Roxburgh; email@example.com
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