Endemol considers bid for Five

Production company Endemol, producers of shows such as Big Brother, is reportedly considering bidding for Channel Five.

Production company Endemol, the company behind reality series Big Brother, is apparently interested in becoming the owner of PSB terrestrial network Channel Five. The owners of Five, RTL, are considering selling the UK operation and have set a deadline of June 21st for bids for the broadcaster. Amongst those reportedly interested are ITV, BSkyB and Warner Brothers.

There has also been speculation of a possible merger between Channel 4 and Five although this seems increasingly unlikely. Channel 4 is instead looking to merge with BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the corporation. A merger between ITV and Five has also been suggested.

A deal between BSkyB and RTL to buy Five is deemed to be unlikely given the rulings forcing Sky to tell its stake in ITV it acquired several years ago. Sky bought shares in ITV when Virgin Media was poised to launch a takeover bid. The acquisition 17% of ITV by Sky prompted complaints and rulings that the broadcaster had to sell the majority of its shares in ITV. If Sky were to move to snap up Five its likely there would be similar objections to its ITV stake.

Now according to reports there’s a new contender for Five – Endemol. It has reportedly instructed media firm Wiggin to consider its bid for Five. The sale of Five would also be tied in with the sales of Talkback Thames and Frantlemedia which are also owned by RTL. Talkback Thames produce shows such as The Apprentice, Britain’s Got Talent and also the soon to end drama, The Bill. Lorriane Heggessy, Chief Executive of Thames, recently announced she was standing down from her role after five years.