The government is launching a consultation on whether to move Channel 4 out of London, Culture Secretary Karen Bradley has announced.
But the prospect of privatisation is now off the table, meaning it will remain publicly owned.
Ms Bradley will say in a speech on Wednesday that the government wants the “benefits of this national asset to be spread far and wide”.
A channel spokesman said a “substantial relocation” would be “highly damaging”.
Only 30 of Channel 4’s 820 staff are currently based outside of London.
Bradley is making a speech at the Nations and Regions conference in Salford.
“We want the benefits of this national asset to be spread far and wide, not just in London,” Ms Bradley will say. “And that means rethinking where it is based, and where it spends money.
“I am unsympathetic towards those who recoil in horror at the very idea of media jobs being based outside the capital.”
A spokesman for Channel 4 said: “The most important factor in supporting the nations and regions is where we spend our money rather than where Channel 4 is headquartered.
“A substantial relocation would be highly damaging to Channel 4’s business model and diminish our investment in the creative industries around the UK and our overall contribution to the UK economy.”