Bauer sells music TV services to Channel 4

Channel 4 has acquired full ownership of The Box Plus Network, buying the remaining 50% stake in the network that it did not previously own from Bauer.

The Box Plus Network runs KISS, Magic and Kerrang! branded music channels and will continue to do so under licence from Bauer after the sale.

Channel 4 has owned a 50% stake in The Box Plus Network since 2007, which also operates 4Music, The Box, Box Upfront and Box Hits.

Keith Underwood, Chief Operating Officer of Channel 4 and Board Member of the Box Plus Network, said: “This transaction brings the UK’s largest and most-watched music television network fully into the Channel 4 family. As part of a broader channel portfolio, we will work with the management team of the Box Plus Network to amplify the value of the assets acquired. This acquisition forms part of our wider strategy to enhance engagement with youth audiences.”

Paul Keenan, CEO Bauer UK and European Radio said: “Channel 4 are best placed to realise the full potential of the Box Plus Network as 4Music increasingly moves towards broader, entertainment and long-form programming. We will continue to licence our music brands KISS, Magic and Kerrang! to the Box and would like to thank Matt Rennie and his talented team at Box for great work and give our best wishes for the future”.

RadioToday’s take

It appears that radio’s affair with television is coming to an end – last year Global closed down its Capital and Heart branded music television channels to concentrate on radio (along with online and outdoor), and now Bauer sells its television interests to Channel 4.

In 2016, Bauer’s Smash Hits and heat TV closed with the company concentrating on running The Box network.

Time will tell if Channel 4 will want to continue running television stations under a brand licence – if not, it could signal the end of radio groups operating music television services.