C4 out of Virgin TV auction

Channel 4 has withdrawn from the bidding for Virgin Media’s entertainment channels, because it can't afford it. The broadcaster is reported to have told Virgin it would not submit a binding bid for Virgin Media Television, because it believes it has better uses for its limited cash resources.

With Channel 4 out, Virgin Media faces the dilemma of whether to sell the channels to its archrival BSkyB, which put in the largest first round bid at about £160 million (E187m), or one of the remaining contenders thought to include Time Warner.

Virgin had already said it would insert a clause for buyers saying they mustn't sell on to Sky (it wanted to avoid Sky getting the assets on the cheap) but has said it would sell direct to Sky.

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