(Changes source, adds details)
By Liana B. Baker
July 30 AMC Networks Inc, a U.S. media
company that owns cable channels, is in talks to buy a stake in
BBC America, BBC Worldwide's U.S. channel, a source familiar
with the matter told Reuters.
BBC Worldwide would retain a small majority of BBC America
if a deal with AMC goes through, the source said.
Bloomberg reported that AMC will take a stake of about 50
percent in BBC America. (bloom.bg/1zwBh7g)
BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of Britain's public
broadcaster, is interested in a partnership to use AMC's
advertising sales and distribution network, said Bloomberg,
citing people with knowledge of the matter.
The investment would mark a further expansion for AMC and
come on the heels of its $1.04 billion purchase last year of
Chellomedia, an international media company owned by Liberty
Global. The valuation of BBC America is not known.
AMC had considered making an investment in BBC America for
some time and the two companies had worked together on
programming and distribution partnerships in the past, the
Media consolidation is on the rise this year with Rupert
Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox circling takeover target Time
Warner. Time Warner rejected Fox's initial $80 billion
AMC, controlled by the Dolan family, views BBC America as
having momentum and a strong following with shows such as "Dr.
Who" and "Orphan Black".
The two science fiction shows have strong followings and
appeal to upscale audiences. BBC America reaches more than 80
million U.S. homes.
The two companies, which have a joint production coming out
this week, declined to comment.
(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Bangalore and Liana Baker
in New York; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)