Richard Desmond to sell Channel 5 to Viacom for estimated £450m

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Channel 5 logo

Richard Desmond, the owner of Britain's Channel 5, will reportedly sell the channel to US media company Viacom for an estimated £450m. Viacom also owns TV channels Comedy Central, MTV, and Nickelodeon.

Desmond's Northern & Shell — which also owns the Daily Express and Daily Star newspapers — bought Channel 5 from the German broadcaster RTL in 2010 for £103.5m. Desmond has made the channel profitable returning £26m of profits in the first half of 2013. The channel has cut costs, improved its ad sales operation, and acquired the rights for the reality show Big Brother until the end of 2014.

BT, ITV, and Channel 4 have contemplated purchasing the network but declined. Last month, Discovery Communications withdrew a bid reportedly worth between £250m and £300m.