April 30 British media baron Richard Desmond
will announce that he is selling free-to-air TV broadcaster
Channel 5 to U.S.-based Viacom Inc for up to 450
million pounds ($760 million), The Guardian reported On
Wednesday, without citing sources.
Viacom, which owns cable networks such as MTV, Nickelodeon
and Comedy Central, is also expected to announce the deal on
Thursday when it reports its financial results, the paper said
on its website. (link.reuters.com/fac98v)
Channel 5, which broadcasts "Big Brother," was bought by
Desmond's Northern & Shell media group in 2010 for 103.5 million
Northern & Shell could not be contacted outside of regular
business hours, while Viacom declined to comment.
Media reports said in January Desmond was expecting to raise
about 700 million pounds through the sale of the television
network and had hired Barclays to look for buyers.
The sale had reportedly drawn interest from more than 20
potential buyers, including Viacom, Discovery Communications
, Scripps Networks and British Sky Broadcasting
($1 = 0.5922 British Pounds)
(Reporting by Richa Naidu in Bangalore; Editing by Richard