Tuesday, November 24, 2020

BBC SELLS ITS STAKE IN CHANNELS OWNED WITH DISCOVERY

November 16, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

In what the London Financial Times has described as a “windfall,” the BBC’s commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, has sold the 50 percent stake that it owns in the international cable networks Animal Planet and LIV to its partner, Discovery Communications for $156 million. It reportedly plans to reinvest the money into its self-branded BBC America and BBC Knowledge as well as program production and the development of a commercial version of the BBC iPlayer online service outside of the U.K. In an interview with the FT, BBC Worldwide chief John Smith said, “I decided soon after I arrived [in 2004] that we needed our own branding in channels and that we should migrate to all-BBC brands over time, so I have been talking to [Discovery] for some time about doing this deal.” For its part, Discovery said it would now be able to alter programming on the two channels without having to consult with its BBC partner. Discover CEO Mark Hollinger told the New York Times: “The BBC has been a great partner, but when you own something 100 percent you can do things that you can’t if you are in a partnership.”