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BBC Worldwide sale won't work – Thompson

December 16, 2009

The BBC director general, Mark Thompson, has attacked UK government over its decision to list BBC Worldwide in its portfolio of assets for sale, warning that any sale could lead to Worldwide becoming “an empty vessel”.

In The Guardian, Thompson ruled out a wholesale privatisation of the BBC’s commercial arm, saying the BBC “cannot envisage a Worldwide in which the BBC does not continue to play a central role”. He also said Worldwide would “only be worth a fraction of its present value” if it was sold off and stripped of the BBC brand and that “the right question to ask is neither how to chop it back … but how to develop and exploit it”.

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