Channel 4 Annual Report 2017
Full Annual Report 2017
Channel 4’s primary function is to deliver its public service remit. Central to that remit is our investment in a broad range of high quality TV programmes, films and digital content.
Investment in high quality content
Our approach to creativity distinguishes us from other broadcasters. We take more risks and we nurture and harness the best creative talent on and off-screen, and from across the UK, in order to find the best ideas and pioneer new programme ideas and formats.Investment in high quality content (PDF 1.2MB)
Supporting creative business
As a publisher-broadcaster, we don’t make any of our programmes in-house, but commission from hundreds of independent production companies right across the UK – giving opportunities to British creative talent and supporting a thriving and world-renowned production sector.Supporting creative business (PDF 992KB)
Maintaining and growing our connection with young people is now, more than ever, a key focus for Channel 4. Across all our output, our alternative and distinctive approach to subjects appeals strongly to young audiences.Young people (PDF 998KB)
Identifying and nurturing talent is a vital part of Channel 4’s role: our remit to experiment and take risks means that a core part of our business strategy is to support emerging and established talent alike across TV, film and digital media.Talent (PDF 1.02MB)
Catalyst for social change
In a year of social and political upheavals, Channel 4 continued to play a crucial role in provoking debate, inspiring change and telling stories from contemporary Britain and a rapidly changing world.Catalyst for social change (PDF 960 KB)
For Channel 4, more than any other broadcaster, diversity is at the heart of everything we do, on and off-screen. In 2017, we further consolidated our reputation as a diversity leader, not only in broadcasting but in industry generally.Diversity (PDF 983KB)
Channel 4 has a remit to experiment and take risks. This means pushing the boundaries both commercially and creatively. It drives our commissioning decisions, informs how we use technology to reach audiences, and encourages us to find new commercial approaches.Innovation (PDF 1.03MB)
Nations and Regions
Channel 4 makes a substantial contribution to the UK’s Nations and Regions in a number of ways. On-screen, we portray people and places from all over the country, showing the different cultures, lifestyles and perspectives of people living in different parts of the UK.
And off-screen, Channel 4 plays a vital role in supporting the creative economy across the UK, by working with the best creative talent and businesses around the country. We do this directly, through the programmes, films and digital content that we commission, and also by providing support to help companies develop and grow, such as through our Growth Fund.
‘4 All the UK’ includes a commitment to significantly increase our Nations and Regions content spend from our current quota of 35% to 50% by 2023 – a boost of over £250m in the Nations and Regions; to establish three new creative hubs in 2019, including a new National HQ for Channel 4 – this represents 300 Channel 4 jobs, including key creative decision makers, based in the Nations and Regions; and Channel 4 News will also expand its footprint, opening three new bureaux across the UK and giving a huge boost to regional representation, and aiming to become the first peak-time national news programme to co-anchor from both London and the Nations and Regions from 2020.
Director of Programmes
“Our main objective – to deliver our public service remit – is underpinned by a robust strategy to maintain a strong share of TV viewing and ensure we remain commercially sustainable.”
Chair and Chief Executive
“Our performance in 2017 demonstrated how Channel 4 is able to adapt to a challenging marketplace and to changing viewer habits.”Chair’s full statement (PDF 573KB)
Chief Executive's statement
“Channel 4 has always been an organisation that is quick to adapt to change and to innovate, and this process is already well underway for us.”Chief Executive’s full statement (PDF 588KB)
Awards and thank you
Explore a comprehensive list of all awards won in 2017. We’d also like to say thank you to all our suppliers of first-run originated television programmes that transmitted across the portfolio in 2017, and the digital companies that received project funding from us in 2017.
At a glance
Channel 4 is a publicly-owned and commercially-funded UK public service broadcaster, with a statutory remit to deliver high-quality, innovative, alternative content that challenges the status quo.
Our twin goals as a content provider and business are to fulfil our remit and to be commercially self-sufficient.
The UK broadcasting ecology is the result of intervention by politicians and regulators. It’s a carefully balanced mix of different organisations, with different missions, business models and governance.
We make a huge contribution to the UK’s economy
We support the independent production sector more than our competitors
We prioritise investment in innovative British programmes
We have a stronger relationship with young people than any other PSB
The Great British Bake Off
A highlight of 2017 was The Great British Bake Off, which launched on Channel 4 to huge critical acclaim and some of the largest audiences in our history.Download case study (PDF 705KB)
Investing in innovation
Channel 4’s commitment to innovation underpins everything it does – spanning the full range of its creative output, the geographical spread of its supplier base, the diversity of voices and perspectives it brings to the screen, and its technological innovation on digital platforms.
Making an impact
Channel 4 occupies a unique position in the broadcasting ecosystem. It is a mass-market channel that reaches large audiences every day, including under-served groups that other PSBs struggle to connect with.
It measures its impact by considering both the numbers of people who view its programmes across different audience groups and the public value it achieves by delivering its remit to be alternative and diverse, take risks, challenge preconceptions and inspire change.