BBCW, C4 joint venture deal 'still on'

Wednesday, October 21 2009,

Culture secretary Ben Bradshaw has revealed that talks over a joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Channel 4 are still ongoing.

Back in June, BBC Worldwide chief executive John Smith said that a collaboration agreement between the corporation's commercial arm and Channel 4 was close to being finalised.

After the deal failed to materialise, speculation mounted that the proposed joint venture had stalled permanently.

However, Bradshaw told a House of Commons culture, media and sport committee that talks between the two organisations were still live and could yet yield a positive result, reports The Guardian.

"We made it very clear that Channel 4 should remain a public service broadcaster and we favoured a joint venture or tie-up between Channel 4 and BBC Worldwide, and this is something they are actively pursuing," he said. "The latest information on that is quite encouraging."

Despite this positive forecast, negotiations could yet be complicated by Channel 4's search for a new chief executive to replace the outgoing Andy Duncan.