James Ashton writing in The Times:
THE BBC is eyeing fresh plans for the partial sale or stock-market flotation of BBC Worldwide, its commercial division, by 2012.
Analysts value BBC Worldwide at more than £2 billion – which means that if the BBC sold a 25% stake it could raise in excess of £500m. The division made a profit of £111m last year. Revenues are expected to exceed those of ITV1 in four years.
Patel will also examine the future of BBC’s research and innovation centre, which could be commercialised. The division helped to develop industry standards such as high definition television and Nicam digital stereo. It has an annual budget of £30m.