The government could force the BBC to sell off its stake in the commercial network UKTV.
Proposals in a White Paper on the future of the BBC could contain the latest variation on the traditional call by right-leaning commentators that the corporation should be forced to sell off BBC Worldwide.
The commercial division of the public broadcaster owns 50% of UKTV, the remainder being held by Scripps. UKTV runs a string of popular channels including Dave, W and Gold. It has continued to expand the free-to-air presence of its channels on Freeview, in addition to distribution on Sky and Virgin.
Suggestions of a sell-off were first reported by The Sunday Times.
UKTV contributes about a third of the profits of Worldwide. In 2015 UKTV posted record operating profits of £79.6 million, up from £72.3 million in 2014 and £66.2 million in 2013, which represents an increase of over 20% over two years.