Magz Osborne
Nov 16, 2010

BBC Worldwide sells Animal Planet stake to Discovery for US$156m

LONDON - BBC Worldwide is selling its 50 per cent interest in Animal Planet and Liv to Discovery Communications for US$156 million. BBC Worldwide says it is exiting the joint venture to concentrate on the expansion of its wholly-owned channel brands.

BBC Worldwide is selling its stake in Animal Planet & Liv to concentrate on its wholly-owned channel business
BBC Worldwide is selling its stake in Animal Planet & Liv to concentrate on its wholly-owned channel business

John Smith, chief executive officer, BBC Worldwide said the sale is consistent with the November 2009-published BBC Trust review of BBC Worldwide.

"The launch and growth of BBC-branded international channels is an important strategic priority for BBC Worldwide and the sale of the 50 per cent interest in Animal Planet and Liv will enable us to bring increased focus to these fast-growing channels, and to progress a number of other strategic priorities," said Smith.

Added Mark Hollinger, president and CEO of Discovery Networks International, "Acquiring BBC Worldwide's rights to the Animal Planet and Liv channel brands provides Discovery a strategic opportunity to create additional revenue and growth opportunities for our global business."

The BBC and Discovery Communications also announced a new agreement extending their long term North American co-production partnership by two years to 2014. This partnership has produced global programming events such as Life, Planet Earth, Blue Planet and Wonders of the Solar System.

Animal Planet is a global channel brand reaching nearly 250 million cumulative subscribers in more than 170 markets across Europe, Asia and Latin America. Liv is a general entertainment channel brand reaching 24 million cumulative subscribers in 33 Latin American markets.

Source:
Campaign Asia

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