BBC signs 1m pounds satellite deal: Programmes to be reshown days later

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The Independent Online
THE BBC has struck a pounds 1m a year deal with a new satellite channel to rebroadcast its most successful daytime programmes only days after their original transmission.

Viewers who miss Anne Diamond and Nick Owen on Good Morning will be able to see them in a weekend omnibus edition on the channel, UK Living, and the audience participation programme Kilroy will be shown at lunchtime, a week after the original show.

The deal includes repeats of cookery programmes featuring Keith Floyd and Delia Smith, but these will be some years old. The BBC will provide UK Living with 400 hours of programmes a year. As these can be repeated up to four times, it will amount to nearly a third of its schedule.

Although the BBC sells vintage comedies and dramas to UK Gold, a satellite channel closely linked to UK Living, and allows Breakfast with Frost to be shown by Sky News on the day of transmission, this is the first time it has sold immediate rebroadcast rights on such a scale.

UK Living is jointly owned by two American media companies - Cox Enterprises and Tele-Communications Inc (TCI) - and Thames Television, the former ITV contractor for London and south-east England. They have invested pounds 27m in the enterprise. It will come on air on 1 September as part of BSkyB's 12-channel subscription package.

It will produce two and a half hours of its own programmes a day from the Thames studios. These will include Agony Hour at 3pm daily, in which agony aunts from women's magazines will discuss viewers' problems.

The head of programming is Lis Howell, who stood down this year as head of programmes for the ITV breakfast station GMTV after it had been on the air for six weeks.

Apart from the BBC programmes, much of the outside material will come from the United States, including soap operas and Infatuation, a 'people' show in which, Ms Howell says, 'someone you have a crush on goes behind a screen and you have to describe them - it's hilarious'.

Shape of satellite TV, page 17

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