BBC closes deal for Outside Broadcasts

The BBC has announced that it has completed the sale of the Outside Broadcasts division (“BBC Outside Broadcasts”) of its wholly-owned commercial subsidiary, BBC Resources Ltd, to Satellite Information Services Ltd (“SIS”).The BBC has received approval for the sale from both the BBC’s Executive Board and the BBC Trust.

The business and staff of BBC Outside Broadcasts will transfer to SIS with effect from 1 April 2008. One of the UK’s leading providers of outside broadcast production facilities and services, BBC Outside Broadcasts operates a large fleet of television production units plus sound, support and communications vehicles and award-winning special cameras.

The business supports events ranging from music festivals, drama productions and major state occasions, to Wimbledon, the Olympics and World Cup football. Under SIS ownership, Outside Broadcasts will continue to provide services to the BBC and other customers.

Andy Thornton, Project Director, BBC, said: “This deal offers us the stability and security of an ongoing relationship, coupled with SIS’ commitment to driving innovation and investment.Both are vital as we seek to remain relevant and indispensable to our diverse and fast-changing audience.”

SIS Chief Executive, David Holdgate, commented: “The chance to acquire something of the size, range and impeccable reputation of BBC Outside Broadcasts is almost a once in a lifetime opportunity, and one that we were determined not to miss out on.As well as ongoing relationships with the BBC, we look forward to developing new business across the industry.We have bought a business that has fantastic assets in its people, reputation and range of output, and we have substantial plans in place to match that with a modernised equipment fleet, to take advantage of market opportunities.”

The sale follows a review of the Corporation’s commercial businesses. As well as delivering a good deal for the BBC, SIS has also given Outside Broadcasts’ staff assurances on pensions, and terms and conditions.

BBC Outside Broadcasts, part of the BBC’s commercial subsidiary, BBC Resources Ltd, owns a large fleet of 15 television production units plus sound, support and communications vehicles and award-winning special cameras, and operates out of self-contained premises in Langley.

The business supports events from music festivals, drama productions and major state occasions, to Wimbledon, the Olympics and World Cup football.

Satellite Information Services Limited (SIS) is a long-established media business and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Satellite Information Services (Holdings) Ltd (SISH). SISH is owned by a combination of leisure and financial investors.

The business focuses on TV production, broadcasting and the provision of live pictures and data via satellite from two key sites in London and Milton Keynes.

It is the foremost supplier of television programming and data services to the UK and Ireland betting industry. In addition, it has long-term, high value contracts with other leading broadcasters, such as Sky and ITV, to provide live coverage of news and sports events, including Formula 1 and Rugby World Cup.

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