Business

Sunday 4 December 2016

TV3 gets the rights to Big Brother as buyers loom

Published 26/04/2015 | 02:30

TV3 boss David McRedmond is doing everything he can to ratchet up the price tag on the Ballymount television station.

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Private equity owner Doughty Hanson has stuck a 'For Sale' sign up and buyers - ranging from John Malone's Liberty, Viacom and Carlyle - have been sounded out over a deal. UTV is also likely to be in the frame. Quayle Munroe is handling the process.

Doughty Hanson paid €265m to buy TV3 from CanWest back in 2006 - but it is unlikely to get more than half of its investment back.

Nevertheless, McRedmond is trying to make TV3 more attractive to potential buyers.

UTV Ireland now owns the ratings-grabbing Coronation Street and Emmerdale Farm soaps, but a series of smart rights deals and home-produced commissions have helped TV3 fight back.

My spies tell me that TV3 has scored a massive coup by inking a deal with Endemol to broadcast Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother on Irish television for the first time ever, which is a poke in the eye for UTV.

Tying in Endemol on a long-term deal makes TV3 more valuable for potential buyers. With McRedmond and management holding a 9.5pc stake, every little helps.

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