BBC mulls sale of some part of Worldwide arm: report

BBC mulls sale of some part of Worldwide arm: report
PTI
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First Published: Tue, Sep 15 2009. 03 04 PM IST
Updated: Tue, Sep 15 2009. 03 04 PM IST
London: Broadcasting major BBC is considering putting on the block some part of its commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, in a move following a review of its operations, says a media report.
In an interview to The Guardian, BBC’s director general, Mark Thompson said the executives were considering the “part- privatization” of BBC Worldwide.
The options under consideration for divestment include a stock market listing of BBC Worldwide business, which had annual revenues of about £1 billion last year.
“One of the things we should look at over this period is whether 100% ownership of Worldwide is essential going forward,” Thompson said.
According to the publication, BBC would keep control of the commercial arm, which publishes magazines and licences merchandise from popular programmes such as Top Gear.
BBC Worldwide also sells the rights to popular shows such as Strictly Come Dancing to international buyers.
The report also said BBC Worldwide has been in talks with rival broadcaster Channel 4 about a potential joint venture, however, the idea of the sale of the business has not been initiated before.
Thompson stressed that the corporation was looking at a “whole range of things” including offering a stake to a rival broadcaster or even an international partner. Such a move would end speculation that Worldwide could merge with Channel 4 to create a rival state-funded organisation.
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First Published: Tue, Sep 15 2009. 03 04 PM IST
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