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Virgin Media may sell off UKTV channels division

# 3 March 2008, 17:36 by Cable Forum

It’s being reported today that Virgin Media have approached Goldman Sachs and appointed them into reviewing a division of channels that are partly owned by Virgin Media. The cable company may decide to sell all or some of its channels division. Market analysts have suggested a complete sale would raise £800 Million. UKTV is also partly owned by BBC Worldwide.

Plans to sell all or some of the business are however, way off, though it is a case of, if it happens, it happens. It’s quite possible nothing will come about as Goldman Sachs is expected to finish the review by Spring and even then, BBC Worldwide, due to a ‘change of control’ clause, would have final approval over any new buyer.

Virgin Media (ntl as it known at the time) attempted to buy broadcaster, ITV, a move which was later scuppered by BSkyB. This was only 15 months ago, so a sale of some or all its channels would mark a U-turn of events for the company which is/was trying to bolster its channel programming content, not lessen it.

Should Virgin Media decide to sell off some or all of its UKTV arm, would BSkyB swoop on such a purchase? Rumours are that they would be keen to buy it as would RTL, which owns Channel Five.

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