BBC may block Virgin's TV exit

Virgin Media's plan to sell all its television operations faces opposition from the BBC, one of its business partners, a Daily Mail report said.

The Daily Mail report quoted the company as saying that it will not join in the sale of UKTV, its joint venture with Virgin, and it may try to stop Virgin selling its half of the operation to a private equity group.

Under new chief executive Neil Berkett, Virgin Media has asked investment bank Goldman Sachs to review its television operations, the report said.

Though that review is continuing, it is considered most likely to sell.

Virgin Media sources said its main concern was not to own TV channels, but to have long-term agreements to carry them on its digital network. The company has seven of its own digital channels, including Bravo and Living.

There are nine UKTV channels including UKTV Gold, which shows 'Only Fools And Horses,' and UKTV Drama.

Anticipating a decision by Virgin Media to sell, John Smith, chief executive of

BBC Worldwide, said he did not wish to part with its share of UKTV, the Daily Mail report further said.

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