Rumors are circulating that UK cable group Virgin Media is looking to sell off its content division.
The talk of an asset sale come on the heels of the announcement that the division’s chief, Malcom Wall, would be leaving in April to pursue his own interests.
The Times Online is reporting that Virgin has retained UBS to advise on the sale. The company’s content division operates Virgin’s channels and has a 50% stake in the UKTV joint venture with BBC Worldwide.
Virgin Media has been saddled by £6bn in debt and reportedly hopes that the content division will find a buyer in the £500m range. The Times reports that Virgin investors would like to see the company refocus “on its core business of providing broadband, telephony and
television to consumers, rather than continuing to create programming.”
The company has been active in using the internet, although as paidContent:UK’s Patrick Smith points out, the company “has been closing portals tied to TV brands over the last 18 months” and folding others into larger properties it controls.
Another example that it’s tough times indeed in the world of cable as well.