Desmond “will take Five back into Canvas”

UK newspaper and magazine publisher Richard Desmond will take free-to-air commercial broadcaster Five back into the Project Canvas consortium if he succeeds in buying the channel, according to UK reports.

The Sky News City blog has reported that Desmond, owner of the Express newspapers, would pay Five’s contribution to the consortium. Five owner RTL left Canvas a few weeks ago, citing cost as the reason. According to Sky News, Desmond may announce a deal to acquire the channel as early as Friday.

According to press reports in the UK, Desmond is close to putting together a deal to take over Five, and is in pole position to win control of the channel. However other groups including Time Warner and a consortium that includes media entrepreneur John de Mol are also in the running.