A report in today’s Guardian newspaper suggests that the BBC’s commercial arm is in talks with Channel 4 to jointly take full control of broadcaster UKTV.

BBC Worldwide currently owns half of UKTV. The Scripps Network owns the other half. The recent buyout of Scripps by Discovery gives BBC Worldwide an option to take full control of UKTV but government restrictions on the amount of debt BBC Worldwide can take on means it needs a partner to complete the purchase.

Discovery’s 50% of UKTV is thought to be worth £500m but BBC has a cap of £350m debt by law.

The report says that Channel 4 has around £190m in cash reserves and a credit facility of £75m.

UKTV posted a pre tax profit of £85m last year.

Staff Reporter

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