May 26, 2010 / 1:42 AM / 10 years ago

RTL to launch bidding process for Channel Five- paper

LONDON, May 26 (Reuters) - Europe’s biggest commercial broadcaster RTL Group AUDK.LU plans to sell off its British broadcaster Channel Five, the Daily Telegraph reported in its Wednesday edition.

Citing unnamed sources the paper said RTL had lined up advisors to prepare a “tender process” for the British TV channel, home to imported TV shows such as Australian soap opera Neighbours and U.S crime drama CSI.

The paper cited fellow UK broadcasters ITV, Channel 4 and BskyB as possible bidders in the auction, but said US studio Warner Bros and production company Endemol could also be interested in acquiring the channel.

Channel Five could not immediately be reached for comment.

RTL Group has 46 TV channels and 30 radio stations in 11 European countries. It is also active in rights trading as well as content production worldwide through its FremantleMedia unit, which has produced shows such as Idols and Farmer Wants a Wife.

The Luxembourg-based company has struggled to compensate for declining revenues from TV advertising by cutting costs and focusing on boosting other revenue streams such as online platforms, pay TV channels and content production.

Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Bernard Orr

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