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Discovery Communications Out Of Bidding Process For UK's Channel 5 : Reports

Billionaire John Malone's Discovery Communications Inc. (DISCA,DISCB, DISCK) dropped out of the bidding to acquire U.K.'s Channel 5, according media reports citing a person with knowledge of the matter.

Discovery led a joint bid for Channel 5 with satellite-TV provider British Sky Broadcasting Group PLC (BSY.L, BSYBY.PK). The companies submitted an offer of about 350 million pounds or $588 million for the broadcaster in the second bidding round, far below the asking price, reports said. Channel 5 is owned by Richard Desmond's Northern & Shell.

It is unclear which companies remain in the hunt for the U.K. broadcaster, whose programming lineup includes "Big Brother" and crime series "NCIS." Several other U.S. media companies showed interest early on in the auction but have since exited the process, the reports said.

Channel 5 was bought by media businessman Richard Desmond for about 104 million pounds in 2010.

The reports indicated Desmond initially sought more than 700 million pounds for the station. He also considered an initial public offering instead of selling.

by RTT Staff Writer

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