Channel Four is a publicly-owned, not-for-profit broadcaster. Our main public service channel, Channel 4, is a free-to-air service funded entirely by advertising and sponsorship (unlike the BBC, Channel 4 does not receive licence fee funds).
Channel 4 transmits across the whole of the UK (except some parts of Wales which are covered by the Welsh language S4C). It is available on all digital platforms (terrestrial, satellite and cable) as well as through analogue transmission.
Channel 4 also operates a number of other services, including the free-to-air digital TV channels E4, More4 and Film4, plus an ever-growing range of online activities including channel4.com, Channel4radio.com, FourDocs and 4OD (a video on demand service). Film4 produces and co-produces feature films for the UK and global markets.
The Channel's primary purpose is the fulfilment of its public service remit, which was most recently defined in the 2003 Communications Act. This states that "the public service remit for Channel 4 is the provision of a broad range of high quality and diverse programming which, in particular:
(a) demonstrates innovation, experiment and creativity in the form and content of programmes;
(b) appeals to the tastes and interests of a culturally diverse society;
(c) makes a significant contribution to meeting the need for the licensed public service channels to include programmes of an educational nature and other programmes of educative value; and
(d) exhibits a distinctive character."
As a publisher-broadcaster, Channel 4 does not produce its own programmes but commissions them from more than 300 independent production companies across the UK, a far greater number than any other broadcaster (including the whole of the BBC). It works very closely with the independent production sector, and invests heavily in training and talent development throughout the industry.