RTL could sell Five should it acquire ITV

Fri, 17 Nov 2006

German broadcaster RTL has been tipped to sell Five, its much-maligned UK terrestrial channel, should it succeed in acquiring ITV.

The Financial Times reported that a joint RTL/ ITV proposition would be likely to come under fire from Ofcom, the UK's media regulator as it would have over 60 per cent of the commercial broadcasting market and control over half of television advertising.

The report comes amid increasing speculation that RTL could join forces with a private equity consortium to make a £5bn-plus offer for ITV. Earlier this week, an RTL statement said that the company was not in talks with ITV but would not rule out a future deal.

Last week ITV confirmed an approach from NTL, the US-listed cable company, but it has yet to submit a formal bid.

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