The minister claims public ownership is blocking British broadcasters, but the channel expresses disappointment.

Channel 4 to be sold at £1bn

The government will sell Channel 4 before the next general election after ministers decided privatization was the best way to "sustain" the UK's public service broadcasting sector.

Government officials said the commercially funded but state-owned broadcaster was expected to go out to tender by the end of 2023, in a move that could raise more than £1bn.

In a statement, Channel 4 said it was "disappointed" with the decision, adding that privatization "will require a lengthy legislative process".

“Channel 4 has engaged in good faith with the government throughout the consultation process,

demonstrating how it can continue to commission much-loved programs from the independent sector across the UK that represent and celebrate all aspects of British life and

enhance its contribution to society while maintaining the property of the public”, said the station.

Its executives have previously warned against harming the network's public mission with "irreversible" privatization.