UKTV to be split up and shared between BBC and Discovery

  • 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?

    If my post is in this colour, it is a moderator decision. Please abide by it.

  • 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.

    If my post is in this colour, it is a moderator decision. Please abide by it.

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

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

  • 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!

    If my post is in this colour, it is a moderator decision. Please abide by it.

  • 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.

    If my post is in this colour, it is a moderator decision. Please abide by it.

  • 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!

    If my post is in this colour, it is a moderator decision. Please abide by it.

  • 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.

    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.

    If my post is in this colour, it is a moderator decision. Please abide by it.

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

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member to leave a comment.