BBC Studios, Discovery close UKTV transaction | Major Businesses | Business
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Just a week after UK regulator Ofcom declared that it would not conduct a formal competition assessment into the BBC’s commercial arm regarding the break-up of UKTV, its joint venture with Discovery, the two parties have concluded the transaction.

UKTV 22Feb2018Under the terms of a ten-year content partnership deal announced in April 2019 and effective in all territories outside the UK, Ireland and Greater China, Discovery will take full ownership of UKTV’s lifestyle channels and BBC Studios will gain UKTV’s entertainment channels. That will see Discovery will take control of channels such as Good Food, Home and Really and BBC Studios acquire Alibi, Drama, Eden, Gold, Yesterday, W and the core entertainment channel Dave along with digital player UKTV Play, and the UKTV brand.

Discovery and BBC Studios also signed a ten-year content partnership deal making Discovery the exclusive global SVOD home (excluding UK, Ireland and Greater China) of BBC landmark natural history programmes, including Planet Earth, Blue Planet, Life and Dynasties. Discovery also acquired SVOD rights to hundreds of hours of BBC programming across factual genres.

As the UKTV deal closes, five channels from both businesses will move into new positions on the electronic programme guide (EPG) on the Freeview digital terrestrial service in the UK.

“UKTV has always been an important part of the BBC Group, creating value for Licence Fee payers and British programme makers,” said Marcus Arthur, president, UK and Ireland at BBC Studios and new CEO of UKTV. “UKTV’s award-winning brands, innovative commissions and premium acquisitions have delivered large and loyal audiences who love great TV. As a wholly-owned part of BBC Studios we will support its future content ambitions, building on its history of success over many years.”

Added James Gibbons, EVP general manager UK and ANZ at Discovery: “Today marks an exciting milestone for Discovery, as we welcome UKTV’s lifestyle channels to our substantial UK portfolio. We are committed to deepening our position with viewers as the leader in real life entertainment by building great brands that power people’s passions and deliver value to our partners.”