Who will buy? – Deadline

ITV, Comcast, Discovery and Paramount have been identified as potential Channel 4 buyers, with a two-year process underway to privatize and sell UK government broadcasters with outside bets, such as European giant Vivendi.

Sources indicate that each potential bidder will verify the process in minute detail to see how the all-important remittance for Channel 4 will change. Given the opportunity to own the rights to its shows for the first time since the 1982 foundation, the network has become quite promising.

Earlier, when the news of the controversial privatization broke, the government talked to many inside and outside Channel 4 about who might be interested in acquiring it at a price of B 1BN ($ 1.3BN). The week has questioned some source prices, pointing to a lack of government spending facility analysis.

The largest commercial broadcaster in the UK, ITVAdded to the roster of Channel 4 with a clear starting point and another string of bows in a youth-shrink shape will be the alternate channel responsible for the hits. It is a sin And Gogglebox.

If it is bid, a Channel 4 insider suggests ITV is keen to keep it as distinct as possible.

“Channel 4 is a very powerful brand, you can access the full load of 16-24 year olds, so ITV will not want to destroy that brand and I imagine it will keep them very different,” the insider added.

Sources have expressed concern about competition, however, with the acquisition of Channel 4, ITV will occupy about 70% of the advertising market. A similar situation in France, where public broadcasters M6 and TF1 are currently jumping through the regulatory hoop, has proved highly controversial.

“It will have an earthquake impact on the competition and I don’t know how the UK regulators can take it,” added a former senior executive of Channel 4.

Sky-owner Comcast As was said by many but may face similar difficulties.

Sky has advertising sales deals with Channel 5 and UKTV, and will add more than half (55%) of the market if Channel 4 is added. This could lead to a clash where both ITV and Sky could bid to stop dominating the market, the former Channel 4 executive suggested.

A Sky insider points to the strength of the pre-existing relationship between Sky and C4 in areas such as sports when it is understood that there is a good relationship between their respective UK CEOs Stephen Van Ruin and Alex Mahn, but insiders questioned whether the channel 4 Whether it matches the comcast. Business model for Sky, which is creating its own show and opening studio space.

The source described Channel 4 as a “legacy business with no significant assets or foundations”.

Significantly, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, has been advised by Andrew Griffith, a director of his No. 10 policy unit, who was Sky’s chief financial officer and has extensive knowledge of the sector, about the process. Griffith himself was heavily involved in a failed plan 15 years ago to integrate Channel 4 and Sky’s advertising teams in the wake of the global recession.

Andrew Griffith

Elsewhere, David Jaslav’s Discovery is involved in the merger of WarnerMedia but bidders will not actually submit bids for more than a year and Jaslav may be tempted at that time.

“Jaslav has something on his plate but he can make crazy decisions and Channel 4 is exactly the kind of network he will see,” said the former Channel 4 executive, just months after the report was unveiled.

Although the US media giant is in the early stages of building a JV with BT Sport in the UK, it gives it access to mainstream sports rights resources, which could push Channel 4 down the priority list.

And then there are ParamountThe UK has done a fine job with Linear Operations Channel 5 and could try to replicate the experience with a larger, more world-renowned network.

“Having two UK broadcasters in their books in prominent slots will help boost their balance sheets,” said Sky Insider.

Looking beyond the United Kingdom and the United States, leading media voice Voice Claire Anders, who runs Anders Analysis, has suggested some European powerhouses, such as VivendiWhich controls one-third of the major Channel 4 supplier merchandise and owns RTL Bartelsman.

Both own numerous media assets across Europe and a footprint in the rich UK market can be tempting.

Anders and all sources agree that the key issue is how Channel 4’s government-determined remittances can be adapted to create in-house programs and to own the rights to these shows.

If that happens, Channel 4 will quickly become a more lucrative proposition, and manufacturing companies will lose out.

“The results will drive the net results and identity of Channel 4’s suitors,” added Enders, who predicted that UK-based trade body Pact would “fight every inch” on behalf of its members.

Documents obtained by Financial times Yesterday, Channel 4 unveiled a failed alternative plan to stop privatization, creating a joint venture from which it could attract private investment and benefit from such secondary sales rights.

What happens next?

Channel 4 is now playing a waiting game and buyers have little time to test the process and prepare bids.

The law to privatize the network will go into effect on May 10, but will take 12 to 18 months to pass through parliament, during which time it could face strong scrutiny from the opposition Labor Party, the House of Lords and some conservative politicians who are already opposed to the movement. Come out.

The point at which potential buyers will be given the green light to submit bids and whether this could happen before the law is formally passed for post-privatization fast sales remains.

“The government will want to lock us down [new] Remit before the beauty parade starts, ”said C4 Insider.

During a town hall-style meeting with staff on Tuesday, about 24 hours after his internal email was leaked to the press, C4 CEO Mahn reminded staff that the process can take up to two years and so business goes on as usual.

He thanked them for their hard work, understanding the deadline, in a heartwarming speech that highlighted recent successes, including Channel 4’s impressive collection of 44 BAFTA TV nominations.

Channel 4 has been a political football for a long time and sometimes it’s easy to forget about content. Potential buyers will do well to keep this in mind.

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