BBC Shutters Commercial Web Unit, Beeb Ventures

23 April 2002

The British Broadcasting Corporation is shutting down its commercial internet arm Beeb Ventures after its failure to generate retail sales.

The publicly funded BBC had hoped to build a group of successful etail sites based on its magazine and TV properties – much to the chagrin of commercial rivals, who argued that it was not the role of public funding to promote shopping.

Many sites currently housed by Beeb Ventures will be transferred to the broadcaster’s far more successful commercial arm BBC Worldwide, with some abandoning their etail services altogether.

Any cash left in the division will be handed to T H Lee Puttnam Ventures, which invested £32.5 million ($47m; €53m) in 2000 for a 13.5% stake.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff