UKTV to change hands for £339m

Virgin Media has agreed a £339m deal to sell its 50% equity stake in multichannel business UKTV and associated debt to American TV business Scripps Networks Interactive, after long-running talks.

Dave: one of UKTV's 10 channels and programming brands
Dave: one of UKTV's 10 channels and programming brands

BBC Worldwide, which has held a 50% stake in UKTV since it was launched in 1997, could now increase it to 60%.

Scripps owns a number of TV and internet channels in the US, including the Food Network, Cooking Channel and country music channel, Great American Country.

It has agreed to pay approximately £239m for Virgin Media's 50% equity stake and about £100m to acquire the outstanding preferred stock and debt owed by UKTV to Virgin Media.

It is now negotiating an agreement that would give BBC Worldwide the option to increase its shareholding from 50% to up to 60%, in return for cash and a package of digital rights for UKTV.

According to Scripps, its own voting rights and board representation would be unaffected by the proposed arrangement, which would be subject to BBC executive and BBC Trust approvals.

The deal will not affect the £1bn 10-year ad sales contract signed between UKTV and Channel 4 last year, a Virgin Media spokeswoman said.

UKTV has a portfolio of 10 channels and programming brands including Home, Good Food, Dave, Watch, Gold, Alibi, Eden, Blighty, Yesterday and Really.

Scripps' last foray into the UK was the acquisition of price comparison website Uswitch for £210m in 2006. It sold the website last year.

Have your say...

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Media Week Jobs
Search for more media jobs

Latest

Omnicom dispute to drive down Channel 5 prices in H2

Omnicom dispute to drive down Channel 5 prices in H2

Omnicom's trading dispute with Channel 5 is expected to drive down the broadcaster's prices by an estimated six per cent year on year, according to an internal Channel 5 document seen by Campaign.

Share
Aga targets city homes with cooker campaign

Aga targets city homes with cooker campaign

Aga, the British cooker brand indelibly linked with the upper-middle classes and their country homes, has released a campaign for its city oven.

Share
David Abraham MacTaggart lecture: full text

David Abraham MacTaggart lecture: full text

Read the full text of David Abraham's speech, called 'After The Gold Rush: Sustaining creative risk in UK television for the next generation', given at the Edinburgh International Television Festival.

Share

Get news by email