BSkyB, Discovery reportedly mull Channel 5 offer

Editor | 24-02-2014

Weeks after reportedly indicating that Channel 5ís owner Richard Desmond was looking to sell the UK free-to-air broadcaster, leading financial news sources have revealed that BSkyB and Discovery Communications are poised to make a joint bid.

According to reports in the Financial Times, bids are due in on 27 February and talks are in an advanced stage with BSkyB set to take over Channel 5ís advertising sales operation. The UK pay-TV behemoth has had long-standing relationships with Discovery and carries several of the latterís programme over its network. Any move by Discovery would be its second major TV deal in Europe over the last year after taking a significant equity stake in Eurosport.

Desmond acquired Channel 5 in 2010 for £103.5 million and is said to be looking for £700 million in a sale which would include the popular Demand 5 catch-up TV service. Under Desmondís stewardship, Channel 5 has begun to make money and returned operating profits of £20.6 million in the first half of 2013, compared with a £16.1 million loss a year earlier.