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Published on August 17th, 2011 | by Andrew Reynolds

Does BBC Magazines Sale Mean Uncertainty for DWM?

Exponent Private Equity and BBC Worldwide have this week agreed a deal which will see BBC Magazines sold.

The deal is part of a larger transaction involving the sale of BBC Magazines and the 50% stake BBC Worldwide has in Worldwide Media – a publishing venture which will now be fully owned by its former partner Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd, owner of The Times of India – totalling in around £121 Million going back to the BBC.

What’s interesting is that Exponent will not only acquire a sales and licensing agreement for the publication of titles currently published by BBC Magazines like Doctor Who Adventures but also the right to print BBC affiliated titles under its licensing and contract arrangements.

This currently includes the rights awarded to Panini to publish Doctor Who Magazine, and some fans have been left wondering just what this means to the most august sci-fi monthly. Where does Doctor Who Magazine fall under BBC Worldwide’s definitions?

The deal states that BBC Worldwide will not retain ownership of BBC programme-based titles like Gardeners World but will keep a strong continuing editorial interest under licensing agreements.

However BBC Worldwide will still retain ownership of titles relating to key BBC brands such as Top Gear Magazine and will license those titles out to Exponent under contract publishing arrangements. As we know BBC Worldwide will now focus on International Video and Digital Media, with Doctor Who being one of those ‘key BBC Brands’ used to motivate interest in its ventures.

Both Doctor Who titles have enjoyed an increase in circulation with ABC figures for Doctor Who Adventures in particular showing an impressive increase of 26.8% year on year, at 56,648 for the July-December period of 2010.

So will DWM and DWA both be ring fenced by the deal? Or will Exponent have control of DWM’s license and own DWA outright?

As yet we don’t know, but a further breakdown of the deal with be issued once the deal has received clearance from the Office of Fair Trading.

In our opinion, BBC Worldwide is treating Doctor Who as a key brand, just as it does Top Gear; Doctor Who Magazine and Doctor Who Adventures will continue without any changes.



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About the Author


Everyone has a favourite Doctor and mine - just for his honesty, his fairness and his ability to not notice the Master's awful, awful disguises/anagrams (Sir Gilles Estram!?!) - has to be the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison. The stories didn’t serve him as well as his acting served those stories.

One Response to Does BBC Magazines Sale Mean Uncertainty for DWM?

  1. avatar Gruff says:

    I’m keen to find out how Monster Invasion has affected sales of DWA. Our eldest stopped getting DWA for a few weeks to get MI, but now has gone back to DWA. She has a limited pocket money which might be why, but one or both might suffer from flooding the market. It they were both fortnightly and alternating they might do ok.

    DWM shouldn’t change as it gets better and better. On and off I’ve read it since I was 10, in 1987, and I think it is an excellent read and very well written. The exclusive links direct to the show are important and forums and fanzines can cater for the major fanboys and fangirls out there.

    Long live DWM, DWA and more importantly DW! What do you mean “they shot the Doctor”? There’s got to be a way out of it, but don’t tell me, I can’t wait to watch it unfolding.

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