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BBC Worldwide Acquires UKTV

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
BBC Worldwide Acquires UKTV

BBC Worldwide today announced that from July 1, it will assume full ownership and management control of UKTV, the number one General Entertainment channel on Sky TV in New Zealand.

Building on its existing 20 per cent stake, BBC Worldwide has acquired FOXTEL's 60 per cent stake and FremantleMedia's 20 per cent stake in the channel.

Darren Childs, BBC Worldwide Channels' Managing Director said, "The move to full ownership of UKTV was an obvious step for BBC Worldwide. The channel's content is synonymous with the BBC's output, and is known and loved in New Zealand, delivering the best of British television to subscription television viewers."

John Fellet, CEO, Sky said, "Sky has enjoyed a long and successful relationship with the internationally recognised BBC brand and we are thrilled to extend its presence on our platform. UKTV is an extremely popular destination for our audiences, and the injection of further programming from BBC Worldwide's extensive catalogue will ensure it remains so in the future."

Darren Childs is presently in Australia to announce a strategic partnership between FOXTEL and BBC Worldwide that will enable Australian viewers to access an extensive range of channels and quality programming from the world's most trusted global television producer.

In addition to the acquisition of UKTV, BBC Worldwide's long-term agreement with FOXTEL will see the roll out of three new channels in Australia from its new BBC-branded global portfolio. The first of these is BBC HD, which launched this month as part of the new FOXTEL HD+ service.

Two new BBC channels - BBC Knowledge and CBeebies - will be the first to launch on FOXTEL when it gains extra cable and satellite capacity in mid 2009.

BBC World News, the international 24-hour news channel, is already available to Sky subscribers.

UKTV will become part of BBC Worldwide, which already has an established presence in Australia. Its head office in Sydney focuses on TV Sales, Content and Production, Digital Media, Home Entertainment and Magazines, and it maintains a substantial operation in Melbourne through the acquisition of Lonely Planet.

The new UKTV ownership model will allow flexibility in managing BBC Worldwide's content in Australia, and will allow further channel opportunities both here and in the wider Asia-Pacific region.

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