Channel 4, Time Warner and BSkyB have been shortlisted as potential buyers of Virgin Media’s wholly owned VMtv channels Virgin 1, Bravo and Living.
Virgin Media intends to sell the channels separately from its joint venture with BBC Worldwide, UKTV, which will be sold at a later stage. The BBC has denied interest in purchasing the non UKTV channels.
VMtv made £121.8m (E132m) for the company last year, with Virgin Media’s half of UKTV generating £38.1m in revenue. If C4 is successful it intends to fold the channels into its putative JV with BBC Worldwide (see bleow).
VMtv and UKTV are expected to net about £400m, about half the amount Virgin Media sought when it tried to sell its assets in 2006.