The Desmond era of Channel 5 is well and truly set to be coming to its end, Rupert Murdoch’s BSkyB has reportedly said to have made a 350 million pounds joint offer for free-to-air channel with Discovery Communications.
“Discovery is understood to be planning to take a 70% stake and Sky the remaining 30%.
The channel would hand both Discovery and Sky a valuable free-to-air platform on which to promote their paid-for content.” The Guardian newspaper Reported
The move comes as a major prospect of Channel 5 becoming a major competitor against the other major British networks, with Murdoch’s “Midas touch”
Dawn Airey, a former senior executive at Channel 5 and Sky told The Guardian Newspaper “Hopefully it will see the maturation of Channel 5. One could argue that it’s a good fit for Discovery, having been aggressively growing out its international channels and said publicly it wants to develop both its paid business and free to air.”
A spokeswoman for Northern & Shell, Channel 5’s owner, has said “We have a number of bids as expected, which we will evaluate with our advisors over the next few days. Certainly no deal has been done.”
Big Brother currently remains the most successful program to date for Channel 5 and enjoyed a successful 1.9 million (2.5%) average for the programs fourteenth series as Emma Willis took reign as presenter.
This Summer Big Brother is set to enter its fourth series civilian series and seventh Celebrity series to air on Channel 5, after Richard Desmond acquired the rights to air the program from Channel 4 in 2011.
Big Brother’s future on Channel 5 remains unclear beyond 2014 after ITV2 have expressed interest to begin airing the program from 2015, after Channel 5’s contract runs out at the end of this year.