The UK government is pushing ahead with plans to privatize Channel 4.
According to sources, Channel 4 CEO Alex Mahon sent an email to staff this afternoon saying that the network has been informed by the government that it will proceed with the proposal made last year.
Channel 4 has proposed a vision for privatization and the sale will be pursued up to around £1BN ($1.3BN), according to The Times.
The suggestion was first made last year by former UK culture secretary John Whittingdale and was taken up by incumbent Nadine Dorries, although the decision was delayed on at least two occasions.
The move will shake up the UK broadcasting sector and will be the most dramatic change to Channel 4 in its 40-year history, as it becomes a privately-owned broadcaster.
The move has been strongly opposed by the UK’s production community, many of whom are reliant on Channel 4’s publisher-broadcaster model, which essentially allows producers to keep the rights to shows they make.
Companies previously connected to the purchase of Channel 4 include ITV, Sky, and Discovery.