US-listed channel operator AMC Networks is in negotiations to buy almost half of BBC America, according to wire service Bloomberg.
BBC America is currently fully-owned by BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the UK public broadcaster. The deal being discussed would see AMC take up to a 50% share in BBC America and it being run as a JV between Worldwide and AMC.
Worldwide already operates the UKTV channels joint venture in the UK in partnership with Scripps Networks International.
Bloomberg reported that AMC would pay cash for the stake in BBC America. The cable net, which is carried in about 80 million US homes – 100 million is typically considered ‘full distribution in the US – is worth an estimated US$200 million.
AMC Networks channels and the BBC have worked together on several projects and Sundance Channel, BBC Worldwide and BBC Two are currently set to produce or upcoming miniseries One Child, about a young a Chinese-born woman adopted by Anglo-American parents who struggles with her identity.
Sundance and the BBC also coproduced Hugo Blick drama series The Honourable Woman.
An AMC-BBC deal is still at discussion stage and an announcement is not understood to be imminent.