Feb 21 John Malone-backed Discovery
Communications Inc is in talks with British Sky
Broadcasting Group Plc over a joint bid for Britain's
free-to-air Channel 5, the Financial Times reported on Friday.
The Discovery-BSkyB talks have focused on the British pay-TV
provider taking over Channel 5's advertising sales operation,
the report cited people familiar with the matter as saying.
Channel 5, which broadcasts Big Brother, was bought by
British media baron Richard Desmond in 2010 for 103.5 million
pounds ($172.71 million).
Media reports last month said Desmond had hired Barclays to
look for buyers for the television network and was expecting to
raise about 700 million pounds through the sale.
The Financial Times report said it was unclear if bidders
would meet the valuation for the broadcaster. Bids for Channel 5
are due next Thursday.
The sale has also drawn interest from investment firm Saban
Capital, which is exploring a possible merger of Channel 5 with
Britain's Channel 4, the FT report said, quoting the sources. ()
Representatives at Discovery, BSkyB and Saban Capital could
not be immediately reached for comment outside regular business