RTL: C4 subsidies pushed us to sell Five

The chief executive of RTL, the European broadcaster that sold Five to Richard Desmond, has told the RTS he was put off investing in the channel by the prospect of Channel 4 being “rescued.” Gerhard Zeiler said: “Imagine Five being successful and passing C4 in market share and advertising revenues – it could be that someone then decides we have to rescue Channel 4 and pump more money into it.”

“The problem is that you have an environment like Channel 4, which is operating very commercially, but, on the other hand, is supported very heavily. It was one of the thoughts you have before you invest another £200m (E240m) into the channel.”