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ITV To Buy Share In UKTV?

Potential £1bn Joint Deal With The BBC (May 2018)

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noggin Founding member
Isn't the Netflix model based on content rather than the platform, whereas UKTV is a platform with not much of its own content?

Yes - Netflix's model is effectively based around original content in the territories it operates in (but that doesn't mean the content is totally unique to Netflix globally).

The UKTV model in the UK is about a 'second chance to see' content usually - and as most of it was shown previously FTA on network channels, the level of payment the public will want to make for 'watching repeats' is probably a lot less.

There IS some UKTV original content (Taskmaster, Dave Gorman's stuff) but it's a very small part of their linear channel offering, and not going to be a Netflix equivalent.

Ironically a UKTV is a much more compelling proposition abroad - where operations like BritBox - offering high-quality original BBC and ITV content that is otherwise less easy to watch - is a better bet. That's akin to UK Netflix viewers watching US Network TV shows that would be viewed on their home networks in the US.
Last edited by noggin on 30 May 2018 12:21pm
James Vertigan Founding member
Am I asking too much of this prospect by assuming this could lead to some long forgotten ITV shows popping up on the likes of Gold?

That would be great!

You mean back to its original days of being a channel showing old ITV and BBC shows?

Shame they won't be bringing back the likes of Rainbow and Jamie & The Magic Torch!
If anything the resulting VoD service would more closely resemble Hulu than Netflix, I would have thought.

33 days later

A former member
This time it's channel 4.


The BBC is in talks with Channel 4 to mount a £500m bid to take control of UKTV , which broadcasts channels including Dave and Gold.

UKTV has a mix of 10 free to air and pay-TV channels as well as a free streaming service. It is 50% controlled by BBC Worldwide, with the remaining stake owned by US media company Discovery.

BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, wants control of UKTV because it is the biggest driver of its profits and source of funds it funnels back to the licence fee-funded BBC each year.

UKTV’s profits have rocketed from £29m to more than £90m in the past eight years. It pays £54m a year to BBC Worldwide for the rights to an extensive library of BBC shows from Top Gear to Dad’s Army.

Much of the content on UKTV channels recycles BBC archives, but channels such as Dave have commissioned their own programming, including the hit comedy panel show, Taskmaster.

But BBC Worldwide does not have the financial flexibility to buy out Discovery, which is understood to be a seller if the right deal can be reached, and has been seeking a partner.

Channel 4 has about £190m in cash reserves, including a £75m revolving credit facility, that it could use as part of a strategic package toward a takeover of UKTV. It is understood that the state-owned broadcaster is also allowed, in some circumstances, to raise significant further funds from financial markets.

UKTV is also of huge strategic importance to Channel 4 as it handles the £225m-a-year TV ad sales contract for the broadcaster.

A tie-up would, at a stroke, provide Alex Mahon, Channel 4’s new chief executive, with instant exposure to a new revenue stream in the pay-TV market.

Channel 4 is not allowed to own production companies, so it cannot follow rivals such as ITV in driving income from creating global TV hits, and pressure from advertisers shifting spend to digital firms such as Google and Facebook continues to mount.

Discovery, which owns broadcasters including Eurosport, inherited the £500m stake in UKTV when it took over Scripps Networks in a $12bn (£9bn) deal last year.

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BBC Worldwide’s joint venture partners in UKTV down the years, which have included Virgin, Scripps and now Discovery, have all faced the key issue of having shareholders that want full ownership of businesses to consolidate on their balance sheets. New potential partners such as and ITV or Sky would face the same pressure, while state-owned Channel 4 faces fewer issues as a minority partner.

It is understood that plans have also been tabled looking at a possible break-up of UKTV, but these have not progressed.

Channel 4, UKTV and the BBC declined to comment.

Last edited by A former member on 2 July 2018 7:28pm

If that went ahead it would effectively result in UKTV becoming a state broadcaster.
C4 have long sold the advertising for UKTV so would not want to lose that to ITV.

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