Channel 4 & Five Could Merge To Create Super Channel

Two of the smaller UK commercial broadcasters, Channel Four and Channel Five, could well be forced to merge together as the former lost its battle to get more public funding from the TV license in what some have called the "biggest revolution in public service television in a generation"

Under a set of proposals by Lord Carter, a "wider entity" would need to created and could take the form of a merger between Channel 4 and Five which is owned by RTL-Berstelmann, an opinion which is also shared by BBC's director general, Mark Thompson.

Channel 4 currently needs around £150 million a year to break even and the current economic situation has exacerbated Channel 4's woes even more.

Lord Carter's report is expected to propose four possible options to make Channel 4, a viable venture in the long run. This includes privatising it (Channel 4 is publicly owned but Commercially funded), merge it with Five, explore a strategic partnership with BBC Worldwide or find public money to keep it running.

Other propositions from industry observers include "a stronger remit, a scaling back and a reconsideration of what underpinned C4's original conceit." Ultimately, Channel Four came out of the battle with BBC over public funds with a bloody nose.

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The draft report currently being produced by Lord Carter, who is also the communications minister, will also tackle the issue of universal broadband and may also call for more legislation to fight internet piracy as well as laying out plans for a new "rights agency" to protect digital content.

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