Channel 4 in the United Kingdom is to bring its portfolio of channels and services under a single umbrella brand. The All 4 online service will also be known as Channel 4. The public service commercial broadcaster, which is celebrating its fortieth anniversary, now looks less likely to be privatised by the government.
The rebranding follows a commitment to prioritise digital growth, place viewers at the heart of its decision-making and renew its relationship with young audiences as part of its Future4 strategy launched two years ago.
The announcement comes shortly after the broadcaster launched a new digital-first brand, Channel 4.0. From the spring of 2023 its online service All 4, previously known as 4OD, will be renamed to reflect main brand, as Channel 4 becomes the first broadcaster in the United Kingdom to adopt one brand identity across its channels and online services.
“As Channel 4 turns 40, we’re responding to the challenge of an increasingly crowded content market by using our most powerful asset, the Channel 4 brand,” said Zaid Al-Qassab, the chief marketing officer at Channel 4. The creation of a singular brand vision will better serve our viewers and help futureproof the channel to make sure we’re able to continue to take creative risks for the next 40 years.”
Chief executive Alex Mahon announced research about Gen Z, people aged 13-34, some 8 million people in the United Kingdom, saying “Our existence as a public-service broadcaster depends on our relationship with younger people and always has.” She said: “Many forms of entertainment are challenging TV’s historical dominance and knowing and understanding our audience is vital.”
The planned privatisation of Channel 4 is likely to be dropped from the forthcoming media bill. The new culture secretary, Michelle Donelan, has said that the government is looking again at the business case for the sale of Channel 4.
The prime minister, Rishi Sunak, originally backed the privatisation plan, initiated by the former culture secretary under the Boris Johnson government. The plan was unpopular, even among key figures in the government, and threatened to distract from other elements of the planned media bill, which include other reforms to ensure the prominence of public service broadcasters.