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Scripps said to be meeting BBC Trust head to discuss UKTV

Rona Fairhead

Rona Fairhead

Scripps Networks Interactive (SNI) will meet directly with the chair of the BBC Trust in an effort to advance its efforts to take control of channels group UKTV, according to a report in the Guardian.

US pay TV operator Scripps bought into UKTV in 2011, when it paid Virgin Media £339 million (€475 million) for a 50% stake with the remainder owned by BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC.

Last year, again according to the Guardian, the US company offered up to £500 million to buy Worldwide out of  UKTV, which operates 11 digital channels including Dave, Watch, Gold, Alibi, Yesterday, Drama, Really and Home.

The UK newspaper said that SNI will meet with Rona Fairhead in the next couple of weeks and seek to persuade her of the benefits of its bid to buy the BBC out of UKTV.

BBC Worldwide has resisted Scripps’ attempts to take full control of UKTV. However, it would be beholden to any decision from the BBC Trust should it seek to become directly involved in the mooted takeover.