BBC commercial arm to C4?

Ofcom proposals on how to plug a gap of up to £235 million in the funding of public service broadcasting (PSB), published this week, include handing over the BBC’s commercial arm in its entirety to Channel 4.

The idea is likely to provoke panic at the BBC, which has been at pains to develop BBC Worldwide – in the face of criticism from commercial rivals – into a highly profitable business exploiting the broadcaster’s programmes around the world.

It is one of a number of new plans announced by Ofcom, the broadcasting regulator, in a major document that follows a year of consultation about the future of PSB in the UK.