Discovery buys BBC stake for $156m

BBC Worldwide has sold its 50 per cent share in its global TV channels joint venture with Discovery for $156 million. The sale comes nearly 12 months after a BBC Trust review said the corporation’s commercial arm should sell its non-BBC branded international channels.

The BBC sold its 20 per cent interest in Animal Planet US in 2006, but retained its 50 per cent share of the channel business in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

The deal brings to an end a 13-year broadcast partnership between the BBC and Discovery, which began in 1997. But the two companies will continue to make programmes together after extending their co-production partnership for another two years to 2014, beginning with next year’s Frozen Planet fronted by Sir David Attenborough.

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