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ITV is considering entering into a £1bn joint venture with the BBC by buying half of the Dave broadcaster UKTV, in a move to fortify British television against the increasing power of US tech giants.

It is understood that the long-standing rivals are considering a deal that could redraw battle lines and accelerate attempts to create a homegrown competitor to Netflix.

The window of opportunity to seal the partnership will close within a fortnight, however.

UKTV is currently owned by the BBC and Discovery, the US pay-TV company behind Eurosport.

Under the terms of the joint venture, the BBC has the right to buy out its partner at a set price before the end of next week. The 90-day call option..........

Discovery buy scirpt thread: https://tvforum.uk/tvhome/discovery-buys-scripps-42839/
Stuart7,596 posts since 13 Oct 2003
Westcountry Spotlight
". . . it is understood that Discovery is working on an alternative plan to break up UKTV.

I'm not sure how they could do that, as Discovery only have 50% of UKTV. Wouldn't you need a majority shareholding to be able to start selling off assets?
dbl9,423 posts since 11 Jun 2004
London London
This news doesn't surprise me - it would cushion the load (both financially and politically) from BBC Studios buying their half, if true. (UKTV is practically a child in between two parent companies fighting for custody)
DVB Cornwall9,414 posts since 4 Dec 2003
Westcountry Spotlight
Politically this is a shrewd move. Ideally ITV should take a 50pct plus one shareholding so that the issue of the BBC being in majority control and the nevitable repercussions of the Corporation suddenly required to be a licence holder for a bouquet of pay channels.

As for this entity becoming the UK PSB 'Netflix' I'm not so sure. The content offer would need to be skewed significantly to add less populist genres and content to it. The current offer from UKTV would lead perceptions. A separate entity in my opinion would be much the better choice.