Well she would say that 

2 February 2009 tbs.pm/1016

Merger of Channels 4 and Five still possible, says Dawn Airey

The ever-hopeful and clearly optimistic Dawn Airey is still making noises about a merger between Channel 4 and Five despite current indications strongly hinting otherwise, although this scenario could still happen if the BBC Worldwide deal proves to be a disaster and all other “self-help” options for Channel 4 have been exhausted.

It may be true that there would be financial savings to be made through such a deal, but bear in mind that Five would perhaps profit more from the deal than Channel 4, as well as RTL getting its hands on a channel that still consistently delivers higher ratings than Five.

For RTL, the temptation to somehow make Channel 4 fully commercial would be too great to ignore, so it might be inevitable that permission may be sought for C4 (or ‘Four’…) to be the commercial channel and Five to be the dumping ground for everything else, which would go against the benefits of having a true mix of popular and challenging programmes.

Any cost-cutting would only be of part benefit to each party in the merger, and the future implications of a fully commercial entity controlling something with a public service remit (just look at ITV) represents a huge risk even though modern Channel 4 isn’t exactly the diverse creation it was back in 1982.

Nice try Dawn, but the downsides are potentially far too great to ignore.

A member of the Transdiffusion Broadcasting System
Liverpool, Wednesday 22 May 2024