Channel 4 grabs stake in Emap music TV

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Channel 4 grabs stake in Emap music TV

Channel 4 is pay around £28m for a 50% stake in Emap's music TV business, which includes the channels The Hits, The Box and Kerrang!.

The move will extend Channel 4's reach beyond its traditional TV channels and comes as it prepares to launch a nationwide digital radio service next year.

Channel 4 recently axed flagship music show Popworld after six and a half years and a spinoff magazine lasted just two issues.

At the time, Channel 4 said it was committed to the Popworld brand and would try to develop it elsewhere, as well as using the T4 youth strand as a platform for music programming.

The new joint venture with Emap will "look to exploit new and emerging digital growth opportunities, including video-on-demand, in addition to traditional broadcast revenue streams", Emap said in a statement today.

"It will benefit from the combination of Emap's TV brands and distribution and Channel 4's premium music-based content and expertise in digital channel and platform management, and there will be increased cross-promotional opportunities spanning both media companies' portfolios."

Emap's consumer business includes music magazines Q and Mojo, as well as the radio stations Magic and Kiss.

The company moved into music television in 1996, when it bought The Box for £6m.

It now has seven digital music TV channels, including The Hits, which is available on Freeview and is the UK's most-watched music TV channel.

It has launched channels based on existing radio and magazine brands: Smash Hits, Kerrang!, Q, Kiss and Magic.

In the year to March 31 2007, Emap's music TV business had revenues of £27m and operating profit of £7m.

Emap said today that proceeds from the deal - the precise value of which is subject to a working capital adjustment after completion - would be used to reduce debt.

"This alliance between Emap and Channel 4 will enable us to increase our music brands' presence on new and emerging platforms, including video-on-demand, opening up new opportunities outside of the traditional broadcast market for both audience and revenue growth," said Paul Keenan, the chief executive of Emap's consumer business.

"Emap and Channel 4 are likeminded partners and together we make a formidable force in an otherwise fragmenting and challenging market."

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