Discovery drops out of Channel 5 bidding

Discovery has reportedly dropped out of the running for UK terrestrial broadcaster Channel 5.

According to separate reports in the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and Reuters, Discovery exited the bidding process after previously working on a joint bid for the channel with BSkyB.

The WSJ said that Discovery and Sky had submitted an offer of around £350 million (€425 million) for Channel 5 in a second round of bidding – though this fell “far below” the asking price.

The auction is now said to be moving to its final round, although it is unclear which companies remain in the running – or if Sky is still involved the process. Bloomberg reported that Viacom had also taken part in the sale process.

A spokeswoman for Northern & Shell said this week: “We have a number of bids as expected, which we will evaluate with our advisors over the next few days. Certainly no deal has been done.”

This followed a report by Broadcast that claimed Discovery and BSkyB had agreed a deal with Channel 5.

According to reports, Northern & Shell boss Richard Desmond had initially sought more than £700 million for Channel 5, though Bloomberg reported today that the network “may sell for more than £400 million,” citing a person with knowledge of the matter.

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