×

Discovery, BBC Close Deal to Split UKTV Channels

Discovery has added a raft of U.K. lifestyle channels to its lineup, and BBC Studios a cluster of entertainment offerings, after the pair completed their UKTV deal.

The UKTV channels group was originally a joint venture between Scripps and BBC Studios, the British pubcaster’s commercial arm. The deal to untangle ownership of the networks in the group came after Discovery became a partner in UKTV by way of acquiring Scripps. The plan to split the channels between the partners was announced in April.

The UKTV deal sees BBC Studios pay U.S.-listed Discovery £173 million ($220 million) for full ownership of entertainment nets Alibi, Dave, Drama, Eden, Gold, W and Yesterday. It also gets the UKTV brand, and the on-demand service UKTV Play. Discovery takes full control of lifestyle channels Really, Home and Good Food.

“UKTV has always been an important part of the BBC Group, creating value for license-fee payers and British program makers,” said Marcus Arthur, who was named president for the U.K., Ireland, and Australasia at BBC Studios in a management rejig last year. He will be at the helm of UKTV as part of his wider role. Previous CEO Darren Childs stepped down in February.

Several of the UKTV channels rely heavily on BBC catalogue programming, but the network has also moved into original commissioning in recent times, announcing three new shows this week. BBC Studios said it would continue to back UKTV’s content strategy.

“UKTV’s award-winning brands, innovative commissions and premium acquisitions have delivered large and loyal audiences who love great TV,” Arthur said. “As a wholly-owned part of BBC Studios, we will support its future content ambitions, building on its history of success over many years.”

James Gibbons, EVP and general manager for the U.K. and Australasia at Discovery, said: “Today marks an exciting milestone for Discovery, as we welcome UKTV’s lifestyle channels to our substantial U.K. portfolio. We are committed to deepening our position with viewers as the leader in real-life entertainment by building great brands that power people’s passions and deliver value to our partners.”

More TV

  • T-Pain, Faheem Rashad Najm. T-Pain performs

    TV News Roundup: 'T-Pain's School of Business' Sets August Premiere

    In today’s roundup, “T-Pain’s School of Business” sets an August 6 premiere on Fuse, and OWN greenlights a new talks series. EXECUTIVE NEWS Matt Brodlie is leaving his role as director of original film at Netflix to join the Disney+ content marketing team as senior vice president of international content development. In his new role, [...]

  • Songs for Screens Powered by Mac

    Songs For Screens: Labrinth on Scoring HBO’s Drake-Produced Drama 'Euphoria'

    British singer-songwriter Labrinth (née Timothy Lee McKenzie) has been having one of the biggest years of his nearly decade-long career, from the April release of his collaborative album with L.S.D. (a.k.a. Labrinth Sia & Diplo) to his starring role in the latest campaign for MINI, where he reinterprets Cole Porter’s cowboy classic “Don’t Fence Me [...]

  • The Office

    'The Office' to Stream Exclusively on NBCUniversal Service Beginning in 2021

    NBCUniversal announced Tuesday that it will begin streaming “The Office” exclusively on its standalone streaming service beginning in 2021. The popular comedy series will leave Netflix once the current deal with NBCU expires at the end of 2020, the same year that NBCU plans to launch its ad-supported streaming service. All nine seasons of the [...]

  • 'Lincoln Lawyer' Series in Development at

    'Lincoln Lawyer' Series in Development at CBS from David E. Kelley

    David E. Kelley is returning once more to the court of legal dramas. CBS has issued a series production commitment for “The Lincoln Lawyer,” with Kelley in position to pen and executive produce. Based on the series of bestselling novels by Michael Connelly, the show hails from A+E Studios in association with CBS TV Studios. [...]

  • Patrick Somerville'Maniac' TV Show premiere, London,

    'Maniac' Creator to Helm 'Made for Love,' 'Station Eleven' for WarnerMedia

    “Maniac” creator Patrick Somerville has signed on to helm two new series, “Made for Love” and “Station Eleven,” for WarnerMedia’s upcoming streaming service. “Made for Love,” which will be executive produced and directed by S.J. Clarkson, is a 10-episode, straight-to-series adaptation based on the novel of the same name by Alissa Nutting. The half-hour comedy [...]

  • Naomi Watts and Gretchen Carlson'The Loudest

    ‘The Loudest Voice’ Stars Naomi Watts, Russell Crowe Talk Roger Ailes

    Roger Ailes may have been the force behind the creation of Fox News, but the late newsman’s legacy will forever be his atrocious sexual harassment of several of the network’s female anchors and producers. Showtime premiered its new limited series “The Loudest Voice,” which chronicles Ailes’ rise and fall, on Monday night at the Paris [...]

  • Steve McQueen VSS

    Amazon to Launch Steve McQueen's Anthology Series ‘Small Axe’ in the U.S.

    Amazon has boarded “Small Axe,” the upcoming anthology series from “12 Years a Slave” director Steve McQueen, and will launch the series in the U.S. It will bow on the BBC in the U.K. and BBC Studios is selling it internationally. Amazon’s European content chief Georgia Brown revealed its involvement in the series, Tuesday, at [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content