UKTV to be split up and shared between BBC and Discovery

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  • The BBC and the US pay-TV company Discovery are understood to be in the final stages of agreeing a £1bn breakup of the Gold and Dave broadcaster, UKTV, in a deal that will accelerate plans to build a British streaming rival to Netflix.

    Well, if there was any doubt about the impact streaming will have on traditional broadcasters, this is clear evidence of the new world of broadcasting we are now in.


    As I speculated in the media mergers thread some months ago, when Discovery took over Scripps (the co owner of UKTV) there was a possibility that changes might happen at UKTV as a result of that takeover and according to the article, the changes are that UKTV is to be axed completely!


    Part of the reason why the BBC is looking to axe UKTV is due to the difficulty of negotiating on demand rights for BBC content which is shown on UKTV channels, as evidenced by the removal of UKTV's channels from Virgin Media's cable network last month.


    Another reason is simply that the BBC want to control their own content and in a streaming world, ULTV has become quite a barrier for the BBC to achieve this.


    The BBC, ITV and Ch4 are all looking to created a combined streaming service similar to their joint venture in America which is called Britbox. How this service would sit alongside the broadcaster's current on demand offerings in unclear, but as Ofcom gave the broadcasters the greenlight to do this earlier in the year, it looks like planning is in the final stages now.


    Having just got the UKTV channels back, I'd be furious if the linear tv channels were completely axed as part of all this.


    Could iPlayer simply be extended to include ITV and Ch4 content?

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  • A fortnight after a possible split was first reported, a deal could involve a 60:40 break-up of the broadcaster.

    Looks like the BBC and Discovery are close to finalising the breakup of UKTV now with the BBC getting the entertainment channels and Discovery getting the lifestyle channels.


    Wouldn't it be a better idea if ITV and CH4 chipped in here and helped the BBC to buy out UKTV? Surely that would be better, rather than it get broken up? The whole reason this is happening, is to allow the British broadcasters to create a rival to Netflix, so they'll be working together on that soon anyway.

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  • Will it mean an end to advertising on the channels that the BBC get, if so I will be happy with that.

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  • Don't know Ron and I don't even know if there will be channels once this is all done and dusted.

    I'd imagine the Discovery owned channels will still carry ads, but I think in the end, the BBC owned channels will morph into the Beeb's (and ITV's/Ch4's) new combined streaming service - hopefully ad free!

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  • There's been lots of announcements on the streaming front recently and I'll try and dig up some stories when I have the time, but the biggest one is that Warner's will launch their own streaming service sometime next year to compete with Disney's.


    Something will have to give, there cannot be a multitude of streamers along with a loads of tv channels too.

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  • UKTV CEO quits as BBC prepares to take full control of broadcaster

    The chief executive of UKTV, which owns channels including Dave and Gold, is quitting before a £1bn breakup of the broadcaster.


    His departure comes as the BBC is poised to seal the biggest media deal in the corporation’s history. The corporation’s next board meeting is expected to give final approval for a deal to take control of the bulk of UKTV, which broadcasts 10 free-to-air and pay-TV channels, including a one-off payment of as much as £250m.

    From the article, the BBC is set to gain the bulk of the UKTV channels with Good Food, Home and Really going to Discovery. The BBC is also handing over on demand rights to its natural history content like Blue Planet to Discovery, which seems like a mistake to me.


    Discovery has a HGTV (Home and Garden TV) channel in America, so maybe Home gets renamed to that and I reckon Really might be merged into something like Quest or DMax. As Discovery now controls The Food Network, will they merge Good Food into that?


    This deal, should it happen, will then pave the way for the BBC and ITV to launch a new joint streaming service to take on Netflix. Lets hope as Ron said, there is a ad free option!

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  • I'll post a link later, but Ofcom has just cleared the breakup of UKTV, so expect the BBC and Discovery to go ahead with their plans now and carve the broadcaster up between them.


    Edit
    Here's the link:


    Ofcom rules out UKTV probe

    Ofcom says it won’t be running a formal competition assessment of the deal between BBC Studios and Discovery on UKTV.

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    Edited once, last by Horizon: Added link ().

  • Discovery U.K. to Rebrand Home as HGTV


    I’ve noticed that from 13th Sept that the Good Food channel alongside the HD and +1 is listed as channel no longer available so it doesn’t look like a direct rebrand following the takeover by Discovery

    The Good Food website has been closed and now redirects to the Food Network site, so that's goodbye to Good Food, one of the better lifestyle channels out there.


    Discovery announced earlier in the year that Home is being rebranded to HGTV (Home & Garden TV) so where does that leave Really which is also now under Discovery's ownership?


    I think it might get axed too.

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  • goodbye to Good Food, one of the better lifestyle channels out there.

    Pity. It's one of the few channels that we have on in the background and has some original series.

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

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  • You must be pissed. You've even mentioned the channel in the cooking thread here. For me, I'm more worried about the Home channel, it's one of the channels I use to get my household through the night and I'm worried it will be yankified and all stuff like Homes under the hammer will be taken off it.

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  • You must be pissed.

    Yep. Currently enjoying John Torrode's Asian adventure. I wonder where all the charity adverts will end up?


    Only leaves food network but that is mainly American imports, though Man vs Food and Diners, drive-ins and Dives are both quite entertaining. Bearing in mind that this is on Freeview and not HD I really question now why we're taking the VM TV pack at all. Not interested in sport and as for films the few that we really want to watch can be downloads or DVDs.

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

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  • Yep. Currently enjoying John Torrode's Asian adventure.

    I think I saw that on the Food Network's site the other day, so you maybe okay with that one, might be wrong as it was only a quick look.

    I wonder where all the charity adverts will end up?

    For me, it's all the funeral plan ads on various channels that I wish would disappear...:cursing:

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  • Good Food has confirmed that following the change, viewers will "still be able to watch your Good Food favourites over at Food Network UK", adding "we hope you'll join us over there".


    Schedules for Food Network UK from the 14th September show many Good Food programmes filling up slots throughout the day, alongside existing Food Network programmes.

    You can rest easy Heero, you're shows will still be available, but what about the other channels?


    Will the BBC still allow "their" shows like Homes Under The Hammer to transfer from Home to HGTV and really, what is the point of Really?


    What other changes would people like to see to the ex UKTV Channels? I would like to see HD and +1 versions of all channels and preferably ditch the SD channels completely now.


    Exclusive: UKTV Drama +1 is to launch soon on Sky. but I don't whether VM or other platforms will also get the channel. Anyone know? Source.

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  • We'll all be watching your thread jj to see if the channel starts to test on VM. You'll spot it before anyone else.:)

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  • I was thinking along the lines that there might be some kind of information slate that gets tested before it actually appears to the public. There's got to be one for the Good Food closure, so if Drama +1 launched at the same time, VM could stick info about that channel on the same slate.

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  • True but they could also soft launch Drama +1 almost immediately on, say, the old Good Food or Good Food +1 streams. If VM follow the same procedure as they did with the Sky Cinema timeshifts, they will redirect the Good Food EPG slots to a common information slate using SDT linkage. But... being VM, they could do something completely different.


    The existing (visible) channel update slates are duplicates of the Amazon Video and BT Sport Ultimate WSL EPG slot holding slates.

  • True but they could also soft launch Drama +1 almost immediately on, say, the old Good Food or Good Food +1 streams. If VM follow the same procedure as they did with the Sky Cinema timeshifts, they will redirect the Good Food EPG slots to a common information slate using SDT linkage. But... being VM, they could do something completely different.

    No, I think they'll do exactly as you just said.

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  • Drama +1 is certainly running in the background on Sky. As for VM, maybe an option for recycling space vacated by Good Food? The VM contract will still be with UKTV.

    I was thinking that, if the contract specifies that X number of channels* must be supplied, maybe VM will mop up the 'UKTV' channels that we don't have (I think these are mainly +1's) in order to satisfy any contractual obligation??


    * My reasoning for thinking that this is how some of their carriage contracts work is that often, when a new channel starts, VM are asked to remove another from the same stable- usually a +1.

  • The launch of Drama +1 on VM must be imminent, as it has now been added to the list of channels included in Mixit / Big.


    https://www.virginmedia.com/shop/tv/channels


    Good Food, HD and +1 have all been removed ahead of the closure of the channels. No sign of an HD or +1 variant for Food Network though.

    Looks like we're getting the +1 of Drama which is good, it was always one of the stronger channels in the UKTV portfolio and almost mirrored the old UK Gold schedule in some respects.

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  • No, I think they'll do exactly as you just said.

    But being VM, they decided to replace the existing video streams with the information slates rather than using SDT linkage. I did say they'd probably do something completely different. Although it seems weird to be able to predict their unpredictability...

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