Big Brother creator John De Mol has been linked with a bid for Channel Five, which has been put up for sale by RTL.
De Mol is understood to be working with Greek broadcaster Antenna on a joint bid that was submitted to RTL before last week’s deadline for submissions, through his investment company Cyrte Investments.
Cyrte Investments owns around a third of Endemol, the Dutch Big Brother producer co-founded by De Mol in the 1990s.
It is thought that if the joint bid with Antenna is successful, De Mol would provide content for Five.
De Mol created the Big Brother format when he ran Endemol and there is speculation that several long-running reality TV series, including Big Brother, could appear on Five should his bid with Antenna succeed, according to a report in on the FT.com website today.
Five is believed to have attracted interest from a large number of buyers, according to sources close to the auction process, but less than half a dozen have submitted offers.
It is believed ITV has not bid for Five, although it considered doing so.
As the fifth-largest analogue terrestrial channel in the UK, and the only one likely to come to the market for many years, it would provide a powerful platform for growth for a new market entrant. Five also owns several valuable slots on the Freeview digital terrestrial TV service.