Virgin Media’s exit from the content business looks set to conclude in the next few days with the £160 million (€188 million) sale channel brands including Living TV, Challenge and to BSkyB. At the same time RTL finally looks ready to sell its interest in the terrestrial network Five.
The Guardian quoted a source as saying the sale process was now “steaming ahead” with the deal potentially being concluded as early as next week. In addition to some of the most popular channel brands, BSkyB would also pick up some valuable EPG real estate in the early part of its on screen programme guide. Time shifted versions of Living could arguably make way for Sky branded content.
The joint venture with BBC Worldwide, covering the UKTV channels including GOLD, Watch and Dave is subject to a separate offer because of the BBC’s right of first refusal.
Meanwhile, it has been signaled that Five has launched a bidding process for the UK’s fifth national network. ITV and BSkyB have both been mentioned in connection with a sale as have a number of US studios.