Channel 4 to make record investment in independent production

Editor ©RapidTVNews | 27-01-2012

Clearly throwing down a gauntlet to UK TV rivals, Channel 4 has pledged nearly £450 million of the total network programme budget to original UK content in 2012.
Revealing the full text of a speech by Chief Executive David Abraham at the Oxford Media Convention, Channel 4 aid that the move represents unprecedented levels of investment in the UK independent production sector, an increase of over £80 million on the last publically reported figure for yearly spend on UK content, which amounted to £362 million in 2010.
Spelling out what the investment could mean for the hard-pressed cash-strapped UK TV industry, Abraham, who revealed that his stated ambition cine taking up his role, has been to increase spend on UK original content said: "since I joined Channel 4, we will have increased the annual level of investment in the British creative economy by over £80 million, and across a wide spread of companies, both large and small, and throughout the UK. It means jobs for British companies, especially the critical SMEs. And it means the creation of [intellectual property] IP, which indies can use to generate additional export revenue, further boosting the UK economy."
Abraham added that 2012 was the right time for the currently buoyant Channel 4 to invest a small proportion of its surplus revenues into UK originated content. "This strategy builds on what Channel 4 has always been about - supporting our investment in UK content and delivering our remit. It will also enable us to grow ratings and viewer engagement, and pump the revenue benefits back into content - and back into the UK creative industries,” he declared.
Looking forward, the executive ended on a note of caution, stating that Channel 4 is planning for a reported deficit in the twelve months of 2012 due to a temporary deficit, funded from transitional reserves and invested in the future. "So, while the outlook for 2012 may be uncertain, I enter this year with a sense of confidence, excitement and optimism that Channel 4 is in the midst of one of the most inspiring and creatively stimulating periods in its history," Abraham concluded: