Channel 4 has confirmed the purchase of a 50% stake in Emap’s music channels. The publicly owned broadcaster will pay £28 million (€38m) for Box Television Ltd, bought by Emap in 1996 for £6m, and now comprising seven digital TV channels including Kiss, Smash Hits and Kerrang. The Hits is also available on the Freeview platform and is consequently Britain’s most watched music channel.
“The Emap and Channel 4 joint venture will look to exploit new and emerging digital growth opportunities, including video-on-demand, in addition to traditional broadcast revenue streams,” said an Emap statement. Music VOD is a popular feature of on demand services, though the availability of free music on the internet means that it is not necessarily a money-spinner.
In the year ending March 2007, Box Television made an operating profit of £7m.