Channel 4.5?

Channel 4 and five (formerly Channel 5) in the UK have been looking at the benefits a merger between the two channels would bring, particularly in the face of new competition from ITV plc.

Carlton and Granada merged last year to become ITV plc, placing pressure on the remaining commercial channels to compete for advertising: ITV now has a single huge advertising sales mechanism.

Five is jointly owned by United Business Media and Germany’s RTL – but as Channel 4 is publicly owned, any change of this scale must be approved by an act of parliament.

Naturally both Channel 4 and five dismiss the reports of talks as speculation.

“Channel 4 might be interested in it because they are declining and we are growing” said a five spokesperson. Five claim a 6.5% share of all viewers – three quarters of the UK population watch Channel 4 in the course of a week.
More about Channel 4’s ownership

More about five

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?