Feeds

EU probes Channel 4's digital handout

Competition?

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The European Commission is to investigate whether a state grant to Channel 4 distorts competition in the UK TV market.

Channel 4 receives no public funding, but nevertheless will receive a £14m grant to help it with the move to digital broadcasting. A commercial rival has complained that since Channel 4 had sufficient cash to meet the capital costs, it didn't need any taxpayers' money.

The hand-out is justified on the basis that Channel 4 is a public service broadcaster, so it needs to be able transmit its high quality material, such as Celebrity Big Brother and week-long Wankathons, on new digital platforms.

"The information provided so far by the UK does not enable the commission to assess whether, given the costs of its digital switchover obligations and taking into account its commercial revenues, Channel 4 will have in the short term a net public service cost which would allow it to receive state aid," the EC said today.

Channel 4 is not skint. The corporation ended 2005 with an annual profit of £99m on sales of £894m, with £167.9m cash in the bank.

The Competition Commission also said today it is investigating the nationalisation of Northern Wreck. Of course, nothing distorts a market like knowing you can drive a business into a wall, and then be rewarded for failure. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.