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C4 takes control of The Box Plus Network

Channel 4 has taken full control of music and entertainment channel operator The Box Plus Network. 

Previously operated as a joint venture with publishing and radio group Bauer Media, The Box Plus Network operates channels including 4Music, The Box, Box Upfront as well as TV versions of KISS, Magic and Kerrang.

Channel 4 confirmed this morning that it had bought the remaining 50% stake in the network that it did not previously own from Bauer Media Group. Since 2007, Channel 4 has owned a 50% stake in the joint venture.

The broadcaster said in a statement that acquiring full ownership "will enable Channel 4 to increase value across The Box Plus Network and the wider Channel 4 portfolio."

4Music was reconfigured in April 2018 into an entertainment channel, switching from the music to the entertainment genre on Sky, while the remaining six channels in the portfolio remain dedicated to music.

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”.

In December 2018, The Box Plus Network took up new pan-European capacity on Astra 2G, leading to 4Music becoming encrypted. At this stage, it's not known if the takeover will have any impact on how the channel portfolio is distributed.