BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, is reportedly considering a US$660 million bid to take full control of British multichannel broadcaster UKTV.
According to an article in the Daily Telegraph, which cited “industry and City sources”, BBCWW is in talks with advisers about a loan that would see the company buy out the half of UKTV it doesn’t already own from Scripps Networks Interactive.
The news comes months after Discovery Communications announced plans to buy Scripps for US$14.6 billion in a cash and stock transaction, with a deal expected to close by early 2018.
Currently, UKTV is a joint venture between BBC and Scripps. According to The Telegraph, once the Discovery/Scripps deal closes, a change of control clause would be activated that could allow the BBC to buy UKTV from Discovery.
BBCWW, however, has said that talks of a bid for UKTV are purely rumors at this point.
“This is speculation, and it is incorrect to suggest the BBC has made any decisions based on a Discovery/Scripps deal that isn’t even complete,” said a BBCWW spokesperson, in a statement provided to realscreen. “Should that happen, we would look forward to discussing the continued success of UKTV with Discovery.”
Scripps did not respond to requests for comment by presstime.
(Pictured: BBC director-general Tony Hall)