TS News - BBC And Discovery Channel Linked

TELE-satellit News, 28 September 1996

BBC And Discovery Channel Linked
  LONDON, England, 96/09/28 (SatND) -- New rumours have emerged concerning
the British Broadcasting Corporation's negotiations with Discovery
Communications, Inc. to set up a long-term venture that may be worth more
than US$500 million. The complex deal would for the first time provide the
BBC with an own US cable channel for programming such as drama and
performing arts.

  BBC and Discovery would also set up a number of non-fiction channels
outside the USA, probably under the BBC brand while at the same time using
Discovery's international distribution and programming expertise, the Wall
Street Journal reported.

  Discovery would at the same time get access to the vast BBC library,
compensating for the fact that Discovery would have to take over most of the
financing. The BBC is not allowed to spend domestic license fees for foreign
ventures like this, although the deal might even affect programming on its
two nation-wide terrestrial channels in the UK.

  Earlier, the BBC was reported to have been in discussions with Flextech
Plc about a joint venture that would include a US cable channel outlet for
the Beeb. Flextech, controlled by US cable giant TCI, also holds 49 percent
of Discovery.

  By: Peter Klanowski
  Source: SatND

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