Disney-ABC Television, Hearst Corporation and NBC Universal may fold A&E Television Networks, History and Lifetime into a new joint venture, Broadcasting & Cable reports, citing unnamed sources.
The restructuring would give NBC Universal a stake in Lifetime, which is co-owned by Hearst and Walt Disney Co.’s Lifetime Entertainment Services. The women’s cable network would fit in with NBCU’s women-targeting effort Women@NBCU and its female-oriented channels, Bravo, USA and Oxygen, the newspaper points out. The restructuring would also bring “Project Runway” back under NBCU’s umbrella after Bravo lost the show to Lifetime in a messy legal battle.
“We have many partners and are constantly reviewing our businesses. We have no announcements,” a Hearst spokesman told the newspaper, but one unnamed executive expects a deal will likely be made within the month.
The restructuring comes as Disney-ABC is expanding its relationship with NBCU. The company announced in April that it would join News Corp. and NBCU as a 30% stake partner in the online video site Hulu.