Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Third time lucky ?

Lord Hall and Tim Davie have more or less gone through the phone-book in the hunt to find a new partner to join the BBC in sharing UKTV. First Sky and then ITV turned down the opportunity to invest £500m. Now Lord Hall's new bessie, Alex Mahon, at Channel 4, is trying to find ways of raising capital for a 50% share.

The BBC holds 50%, and its current partner is US cable channel Discovery (owner of European broadcasting rights to four Olympics between 2018 and 2024).

At the end of December 2017, C4 had just £190m in the bank. C4's sales department has a contract until 2020 to sell ads on behalf of UKTV's ten channels. Can the finance teams on both sides work out some sort of hire purchase deal ?

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