Annual report of the year – public & voluntary sector: Channel 4

Channel 4 Television Corporation considers its job as “to make programmes
that are innovative, distinctive, educational and diverse”.

It boasts an impressive range of awards for its programmes, and can now add
an award for its annual report to its credentials.

Channel 4 has been operating in a difficult environment. The media industry
has been hit hard by the recession and the value of broadcasting as a public
service is under heavy scrutiny.

The company, though publicly owned, finances its programmes commercially ­
mainly through advertising revenues, which have fallen considerably since the
start of the downturn.

Yet, in spite of the difficult economic conditions, Channel 4 turned over a
higher accounting profit than the previous year, even with a reduction in
revenue for the year.

And that’s before mentioning that the broadcaster won more BAFTA, RTS and
International Emmy awards than the other channels, plus being voted Channel of
the Year at the Broadcast Awards. In short, C4 had plenty to be positive about.

The close examination of public service broadcasting was taken on board by
the company’s management, and a 70-page “public impact” assessment was included
as part of this year’s report as a direct result of the commitment to develop a
“basket of measures” to show how Channel 4 had met its obligations.

The channel commissioned KPMG for a limited assurance report to assess the
key public impact measures.

Public impact data was referenced to the Operating and Financial Review
sections, all of which provided a strong case to the government and Ofcom of the
television company’s value as a service.

Channel 4’s additional hard work on the annual report paid off.

Judges said: “This was an annual report that made you want to open it. The
key drivers were very strong and the management’s strategy was loud and clear.”


Channel 4 is justifiably proud of its achievements and its annual report.
It prides itself on its innovation in its service and television programmes –
and this extends to the channel’s report.The report was well received by both
Ofcom and the government, and C4’s hard work and commitment in demonstrating
their value as a public service has not gone unnoticed.

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