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UK's Channel 4 sale to be 're-examined', minister says

·1-min read
General view of Channel 4 Television studios in London

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's new culture minister, Michelle Donelan, said on Tuesday she was re-examining the case for selling Channel 4, raising the possibility that a plan to privatise the publicly-owned broadcaster could be scrapped.

"We are looking especially at the business case for the sale of Channel 4 and making sure that we still agree with that decision," she told BBC radio.

The sale of the broadcaster, which is funded by advertising and receives no public money, was announced by former prime minister Boris Johnson's government in April.

It said a sale, possibly to a U.S. media giant, would help the broadcaster thrive against newer competitors like Netflix and Amazon.

The broadcaster's management, lawmakers across parliament and television grandees strongly opposed the move, saying it would jeopardise Channel 4's distinctive programming.

Channel 4 was created by Conservative former prime minister Margaret Thatcher's government in the 1980s to deliver an edgy alternative to the BBC and ITV, with a focus on under-served audiences.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle, editing by Elizabeth Piper)