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Channel 4 to end 2020 with "healthy financial surplus"

Channel 4 to end 2020 with
© Channel 4
Channel 4 reveals that a better-than-expected performance during the coronavirus crisis will see the broadcaster end the year with a "healthy financial surplus".

Channel 4 has announced that it expects to end the calendar year in a strong financial position despite the ongoing uncertainty caused by coronavirus.

In response to the pandemic the broadcaster cut its budget for the year by around 20% but better than expected revenue performance will result in a "healthy financial surplus".

The in-year update, published as part of Channel 4's 2019 financial report, reveals that the network plans to use the money to repay the government for use of the furlough scheme, boost the programming budget for what remains of 2020 by £11 million and invest "significantly" in content for 2021.

"2020 has undoubtedly been an incredibly challenging year, but Channel 4 is showing that we will emerge from this crisis stronger than ever," said Alex Mahon, Channel 4's chief executive.

"The pandemic has underlined the vital importance that public service broadcasters like Channel 4 play in supporting, informing, connecting and entertaining our nation's audiences when they need us most.

"It has also highlighted the brilliance of the UK's production sector who have not just kept our biggest shows on air but worked with tireless ingenuity to ensure we are serving our viewers with reactive and responsive content.

"We will end this year with a cash surplus and a robust financial position to protect against any further economic instability caused by COVID.

"We will also have a strong base from which to continue the next phase of our transformation, building on the success we have shown in 2019 and 2020 in growing our digital viewing and our digital revenues at pace."

Channel 4's strong performance in 2020, which has seen audiences rise 3% year on year, included the channel's best ratings in 35 years as 10.8 million tuned in for the new series of The Great British Bake Off.

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