UK cable operator Virgin Media has inserted a clause into the sale of its thematic channels division preventing buyers from selling on the channels to News Corp or a company part owned by the media company.
However, News Corp and its UK pay TV subsidiary BSkyB are allowed to bid directly for the VMtv subsidiary, which includes female skewing net Living, male skewing net Bravo, free-to-air channel Virgin1 and Challenge.
The cable operator reportedly hopes that this will force BSkyB to pay the top amount for the company. Time Warner is also thought to have bid for the channels as well as Channel 4. A decision is expected next month.