THOUGHT | Cities bidding for Channel 4 move

    Channel 4 RelocationSeveral months have passed since the news that then-Culture Secretary Karen Bradley announced that the Channel 4 relocation would proceed. Bold claims, but more cities are becoming attracted to the idea of housing a national broadcaster. Lumina takes a look at the latest developments in the Channel 4 relocation and what cities have come forward.

    We first looked at the likes of Sheffield, Liverpool and Birmingham expressing interest and it remains attractive for the cities. Birmingham hosts parts of the BBC3 operation, Liverpool has provided C4 with its Hollyoaks staple drama from Lime Pictures and Sheffield has a burgeoning arts and media industry. These cities recognise that the new Chief Executive at the pub-caster, Alex Mahon, will have to be persuaded. Plus, with the broadcaster unhappy about a move forced upon them, cities are employing representatives. Sheffield has Richard Cabron, Liverpool has Phil Redmond, and Birmingham has its mayor Andy Street.

    However, a new player has emerged, willing to take on the digital departments for the broadcaster. Leeds was first rumoured back in late September, but Roger Marsh has stated that the city’s initiatives would help C4 defend itself against the FAANGs, as Broadcast reported recently. Those include the Institute for Data Analytics, that would assist in developing the broadcaster’s audience figures for profit. Yet, Leeds is not the only city to have its own initiatives that could prove useful for Channel 4. Hull is emerging as a new player with its internal telecoms business, Kcom Group, however this is more of an attraction for technology start-ups rather than a national broadcaster, hosting millions in audience figures.

    On top of this, there are rumours of potential outsiders, including Nottingham and Norwich. The latter claims its tech industries are growing and has broadcasting history, having been regional homes for ITV and BBC. Equally, Nottingham does host a BBC regional office, plus a useful transport network, with decent connections to most of the country. However, both of these would be left-field choices for the broadcaster.

    With the issue of the Channel 4 relocation set to dominate the news throughout 2018, more and more cities will undoubtedly become interested in hosting the broadcaster. With a broadcaster dissatisfied with a move forced upon it, we can expect this stories to continue for many moons.