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The main characteristic of Channel 4s broadcasting life is as John Ellis highlights a marked shift from offer-led to demand-led television Channel 4 can without question be seen as crucial in breaking open the habits of the era of scarcity in leading the development away from concepts of balance and towards that of diversity of view This policy despite the channels difficulties has proved successful and has moved the goalposts of British broadcasting as a whole - indeed we saw a repetition of these revolutionary events with the birth of Channel 5 in 1998 which we will examine more fully later Firstly a brief history lesson In 1977 The Annan Report argued for a third force in British broadcasting to break up the duopoly of the BBC and ITV The two opposing views previously to this had been 1 for the creation of an ITV2 and 2 for something completely different What happened was basically a compromise - the 1980 Broadcasting Act required that the Independent Broadcasting Authority IBA would ensure that the Channel 4 service contained a suitable proportion of matter calculated to appeal to tastes and interests and not generally catered for by ITV and a suitable proportion of programmesof an educational nature it was also to encourage innovation and experiment in the form and content of programmes The IBA was then left to decide on an appropriate institutional form for the channel and to collect an annual subscription from the ITV companies to meet its costs In return the ITV companies were to be allowed to sell the advertising airtime on the new channel within their own regions So despite being funded by advertising Channel 4 had the most exciting public service remit of all the channels at its birth in 1982 as a particular charge the service of special interests and concerns for which television has until now lacked adequate timea favoured place for the untried to foster the new and
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