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 traditional analogue transmission.
Channel 4 also operates a number of other services, including the free-to-air digital TV channels E4, More4 and Film4, and an ever-growing range of online activities at channel4.com, including the broadband service FourDocs and Channel 4's bespoke video-on-demand service 4oD. The Film4 production division 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.
The Channel 4 service was originally established under the Broadcasting Act 1981 and was provided for by the Independent Broadcasting Authority. The Channel Four Television Corporation was subsequently established under the Broadcasting Act 1990 and the Channel's functions were transferred over to the new Corporation in 1993. The Corporation's board is appointed by OFCOM in agreement with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.
Our Chief Executive is Andy Duncan, who joined from the BBC in July 2004.