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Virgin Media shortlists three for sale of Bravo and Living

LONDON - Channel 4, Time Warner and BSkyB have been shortlisted as potential buyers of Virgin Media's wholly owned VMtv channels Virgin 1, Bravo and Living.

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Virgin Media intends to sell the channels separately from its joint venture with BBC Worldwide, UKTV, which will be sold at a later stage.

The BBC has denied interest in purchasing the non UKTV channels.

VMtv made £121.8m for the company last year, with Virgin Media's half of UKTV generating £38.1m in revenue.

The Times reports that if successful Channel 4 plans to merge VMtv into a larger joint venture with BBC Worldwide.

This would again unite the VMtv channels and the the UKTV channels under one roof.

VMtv's Living is home to such programmes as 'CSI: Crime Scene Investigation', 'The L-Word' and 'Britain's Next Top Model'.

Bravo, which is billed as Virgin's channel for men, airs shows including the David Mamet created 'The Unit', which stars Dennis Haysbert.

Virgin 1's biggest show is 'Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles', starring Lena Headey. Producer Fox is in the process of weighing up the sci-fi show's future and has yet to decide whether to create a third series.

UKTV includes channels Dave, Watch, and G.O.L.D and air a mix of BBC repeats including 'Top Gear' and 'Red Dwarf'.

VMtv and UKTV are expected to net about £400m, about half the amount Virgin Media sought when it tried to sell its assets in 2006.

Earlier this year Virgin Media closed its teenage-oriented channel Trouble as part of its plan to offload its content business.

Trouble, which was best known for shows such as 'Kyle XY' and 'Veronica Mars', has been replaced by another version of Living.

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