Rival exec seeks some Beeb coin

Channel 4's Gardam wishes to experiment with content

HOLLYWOOD – Channel 4’s director of television Tim Gardam is the latest senior exec to call for part of the BBC’s $4 billion in annual funding to be made available to other broadcasters to pay for public service responsibilities.

Gardam, speaking Monday at the Royal Institution of British Architects, warned that in the future Channel 4 might not have the “financial flexibility to explore our remit with the freedom we would wish.”

Channel 4 wants the creative freedom to experiment with subjects that are unlikely to attract huge audiences.

Charles Allen, chairman of Granada, one of the big two shareholders in commercial giant ITV, in February urged the government to set aside 10% of the license fee, around £250 million, ($392 million) for new public service programming on commercial channels.

Pubcaster BBC is financed by an annual $187 license fee paid by every TV-owning household, which allows it to remain free of advertising.

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