During one of our first weeks at BOA we took a trip to the Channel 4 Studios in London because it gave us all a clearer idea of the role it played in the media sector.
Channel 4 is a British public-service television broadcaster. In the station’s first few years it received tuning for the ITV companies in exchange for the right to sell advertisements in their region on the fourth channel. Now however, it pays for itself like most of the privately run commercial stations, by selling programme sponsorship, on air advertisements and selling programme content and merchandising rights it holds (i.e. video sales and overseas sales).The companies other endeavours such as E4, Film 4 and it’s on demand services are subsidised by the main network .
Film4 (originally film four until) launched on 1st November 1998 and the first film shown was ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.’ It is owned and operated by Channel 4 and it screens films. It’s slogan is ‘Great films for Free!‘. The channel regularly broadcasts mainstream hollywood movies. Sometimes the channel has themed nights, in which it screens a number of films centred around one genre, director or actor. It also screens many of its in-house productions as channel 4 has it’s own film company. Film4 productions has been responsible for backing a large number of British films. The first production was Walter in 1982, directed by Stephen Frears. They are responsible for several well known productions including:
- (co-production) Four Weddings and a Funeral
- (co-production) 127 Hours
- (co-production) Never Let Me Go
- (co-production) Nowhere boy
- (co-production) Shaun of the dead
- (co-production) Dead mans shoes
- (co-production) Four Lions
- How to loose friends & Alienate people
- (co-production) In Bruges
- (co-production) On the Road
E4 is the UK’s leading youth entertainment television channel. It was launched in 2001 and is a digital entertainment channel which is aimed at 16-34 year olds. E4 has notoriously strange promotion campaigns, which at first do not make any sense at all and including British words that have fallen out of circulation such as ‘gaff’ and ‘ruddy’. It broadcast US imports and extended coverage of shows from Channel 4. Programming has included:
- How I Met Your Mother
- The Big Bang Theory
- (formerly) Friends
- Ugly Betty
- The Inbetweeners (E4 had its most successful broadcast to date on the 11th October 2010 when an episode pulled in over 3.7million viewers).