May 29, 2018 / 3:37 AM / 3 months ago

ITV mulls buying half of UKTV in deal with BBC - Telegraph

(Reuters) - British broadcaster ITV Plc is considering entering into a joint venture valued at 1 billion pounds ($1.33 billion) with BBC to acquire half of broadcaster UKTV, the Telegraph newspaper reported on Monday.

A company sign is displayed outside an ITV studio in London, Britain July 27, 2016. REUTERS/Neil Hall/File Photo

According to terms of the joint venture, BBC has the right to buy out its partner at a set price before the end of next week, the newspaper reported.

The companies are attempting to create a deal that would compete with entertainment company Netflix Inc, the report said.

The opportunity to seal the deal will close within two weeks, according to the report.

BBC declined to comment on the Telegraph report. ITV and Discovery did not respond to requests for comment outside regular business hours.

UKTV, whose channels include Dave and Gold, is an independent commercial joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Discovery Inc, which earlier this year completed its acquisition of U.S. broadcaster Scripps Networks Interactive, the former owner of UKTV.

Discovery is working on an alternative plan for breaking up UKTV, the Telegraph said. BBC had earlier approached Sky Plc as a potential partner in the joint venture but the talks did not work out, the report added.

In November, the Telegraph had reported that BBC’s commercial arm was considering a 500-million-pound bid for full control of UKTV.

ITV is currently in the middle of a strategic review under new Chief Executive Carolyn McCall, who has previously said she would provide investors with an update of the review at the group’s half-year results in July.

($1 = 0.7513 pounds)

A company sign is displayed outside an ITV studio in London, Britain July 27, 2016. REUTERS/Neil Hall/File Photo

Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Tom Brown and Diane Craft

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