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JAS843,485 posts since 26 Aug 2010
Yorkshire Look North (E.Yorks & Lincs)
While I would like to see Channel 4 take up the stake, I'd be surprised if they've got the funds available. If BBC Worldwide bought up Virgin's share, would that mean they were the sole shareholder, and would that be permitted under the BBC's charter?
I believe it would, as BBC Worldwide isn't funded by the licence fee, so the charter is irrelevant.
WillPS
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Forgive me if I'm wrong, but the whole reason UKTV exists is because the BBC Trust objected to the BBC launching commercial channels in the UK (they originally planned BBC Gold, BBC Arena, BBC Horizons and BBC Style I believe). The UK brand was found to be an acceptable work around and Flextech were brought in as a commercial partner to satisfy the Trust.

I'm sure I've read elsewhere that the Trust have given the OK for Worldwide to take 100% of UKTV too.
VMPhil8,834 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today
I think you're misunderstanding Will. UK Gold was already a channel, launched in 1992 as partnership between BBC Worldwide and Thames. IIRC in the mid-90s the BBC wanted to joint launch a new BBC digital network (BBC Choice, Learning, Horizons, Arena, Style, Sport) with Flextech (who had taken over Thames' share one way or another). The BBC didn't want them to carry ads, Flextech did. The deal struck was that the BBC Choice and Learning channels would launch as intended, I.e. non-commercial BBC branded and owned channels, whilst Horizons, Style, Arena and Sport would launch as 'UK' channels under the 'UKTV' network - I don't think they would have renamed UK Gold as BBC Gold - however BBC/UK Sport never launched. BBC Learning became Knowledge.
Thinker445 posts since 14 Dec 2005
I think you're misunderstanding Will. UK Gold was already a channel, launched in 1992 as partnership between BBC Worldwide and Thames. IIRC in the mid-90s the BBC wanted to joint launch a new BBC digital network (BBC Choice, Learning, Horizons, Arena, Style, Sport) with Flextech (who had taken over Thames' share one way or another). The BBC didn't want them to carry ads, Flextech did. The deal struck was that the BBC Choice and Learning channels would launch as intended, I.e. non-commercial BBC branded and owned channels, whilst Horizons, Style, Arena and Sport would launch as 'UK' channels under the 'UKTV' network - I don't think they would have renamed UK Gold as BBC Gold - however BBC/UK Sport never launched. BBC Learning became Knowledge.


Here is an old article which deals with the launch the new digital BBC channels and how half of UKTV ended up in Flextech's hands.

Quote:

Under the deal Flextech will consolidate its ownership of two channels, UK Gold and UK Living. These are co-owned by the BBC, Flextech, Pearson and Cox Communications.

Flextech will buy out Pearson and Cox, who will both be left with shares in Flextech. Greg Dyke at Pearson's TV arm will end up with a 7 per cent stake in Flextech. However, there will be a share agreement which will secure TCI's control of Flextech.

Initially the venture will produce five new channels: BBC Showcase, an entertainment channel; BBC Horizon, documentaries; BBC Style, lifestyle; BBC Learning, for schools, and BBC Arena, for the arts. Three further channels are scheduled: BBC Sport, BBC Catch-Up, for repeats of popular programmes within days of their original transmission, and BBC One, a TV version of Radio One.


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/flextech-to-inject-pounds-20m-into-bbc-deal-1270994.html