BBC eyes pub venture

Worldwide looking to market magazines in the States

LONDON — The BBC is planning to set up a joint venture publishing company in the U.S. with American partners.

BBC Worldwide, the pubcaster’s commercial arm, is talking to a number of publishing houses and private investment groups about bringing BBC magazines and books to the U.S. Potential titles would include Top of the Pops magazine, the print version of the BBC teen music show. At present, only BBC Music, which covers classical music, is available.

Worldwide’s key U.S. presence is the BBC America TV channel, part of its $565 million joint venture with Discovery Communications.

Still growing

Figures released earlier this year had BBC America in more than 9 million U.S. households. BBC/Discovery channels — notably Animal Planet — are seen in about 75 million homes around the world.

Worldwide estimates that 57% of its business could be international within five years. Worldwide now has around 40 joint venture deals, estimated to account for about 20% of the division’s worth.

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