Advanced Television

Patten: “We’re keeping BBC Worldwide”

July 7, 2011

New BBC Chairman Chris Patten has advocated that the organisation should keep control of its commercial arm BBC Worldwide.

In a speech to the Royal Television Society, which was mainly about tackling executive payand goverance, Patten said that a sale of BBC Worldwide was not imminent. “It makes no sense to sell Worldwide. Its symbiotic relationship with the BBC could not survive privatisation; competition requirements would likely cut that to shreds… Privatisation would destroy not enhance value. Moreover, it is difficult to see how public policy concerns about Worldwide and its role in promoting the exports of other creative businesses would sit alongside shareholders’ commercial and fiduciary responsibilities.”

Patten listed the vital assets in Worldwide: programme sales and distribution, BBC-branded channels, digital services the international iPlayer, and BBC World, and said: “We will not be willing to consider any proposals for privatisation either in whole or in part of any of core elements.”

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