Apr 162014

Discovery Communications and BSkyB are poised to announce a £350m deal to acquire Channel 5 from Richard Desmond’s Northern & Shell.

Full details are not known, but Discovery is thought to have a 70% share of the deal with BSkyB taking the remaining 30% share, allowing it to add C5’s advertising inventory to its own sales operation.

The deal will mark a significant step for US media giant Discovery, which has been keen to ramp up both its international portfolio and its exposure to free-to-air broadcasting in key markets.

Richard Desmond bought C5 from RTL in 2010 for £104m. While he was reportedly hoping to attract bids of closer to £600m, he will be happy to have tripled his money in less than four years.

The acquisition would be the most significant deal in the UK free-to-air market since the launch of C5 in 1997.

The deal, which will still be subject to regulatory sign-off, will likely have a massive impact on the channel’s programming budget, with some sources suggesting that it will be more than doubled.



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  2 Responses to “Channel 5 to be bought by Discovery and Sky…?”

  1. If Sky are part of the deal should we fear that the 5 USA and 5* channels will go subscription?

    • No idea – but there is nothing stopping them going to pay if the new owners want to.
      But I think the SKy part of the deal is more to do with advertising….and they can handle it on behalf of five

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