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The chief executive of Channel 4 has warned that large parts of the British television industry are being bought up almost wholesale by US media companies, while the medium faces a longer term existential threat from the increasing involvement of technology giants including Apple and Google. David Abraham said public service broadcasters including Channel 4 and the BBC were the only bulwark against a broadcasting industry dominated by US media moguls such as Rupert Murdoch and Virgin Media owner John Malone and even larger technology firms. Delivering the prestigious James MacTaggart memorial lecture at the Guardian Edinburgh international television festival on Thursday evening, Abraham said, “TV is clearly now a combat vehicle for tech and mobile companies and platforms to compete with each other rather than a sovereign industry in its own right.” He urged politicians and regulators to act decisively to “update and strengthen” the UK’s PSB system, a great British invention that had “created the best conditions for creative programme-making on the planet”.

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