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Latest Satellite News Discussion, New BSkyB bids big for Virgins channels at General Satellite News forum; BSkyB bids big for Virgins channels Chris Forrester Virgin Medias portfolio of VMtv niche channels has been up for sale ...

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Thumbs up New BSkyB bids big for Virgins channels - 01-June-2009, 15:40

BSkyB bids big for Virgins channels

Chris Forrester

Virgin Medias portfolio of VMtv niche channels has been up for sale since March, and now has an enthusiastic bunch of potential buyers looking for acquisitions. BSkyB is currently reported to be leading the pack that includes Time Warner, Channel 4, RTL and NBC-Universal.

BSkyB is reported by Londons Financial Times to be the lead bidder having tendered 160m ($255m), said to be some 60% ahead of the next bid. Virgins channels include a pair of Bravo channels (unrelated to the US Bravo Channel), Living/Living 2, Challenge and Challenge Jackpot and flagship channel Virgin 1.

The FT suggests that there is no guarantee that cableco Virgin will sell its channels to BSkyB, its fiercest rival. Theres also no guarantee that the UKs competition authorities will green light a bid, given that it would reinforce the frequent claim that Sky is dominating UK broadcasting.

However, this sale is a precursor to another, not dissimilar sale, comprising Virgins 50% of the UKTV bundle of channels, which comprise Dave and Gold, and where the remaining 50% is held by BBC Worldwide.


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