The BBC has agreed to sell its outside broadcast arm but will now retain its studios business.

The corporation has given broadcasting business SIS preferred bidder status for the OB division and plans to complete the sale in the near future.

But despite agreeing a deal for OB, the corporation has had to rethink its wider plans for the sale of BBC Resources.

Resources comprises OB, post production and studios and although the corporation will push ahead with attempts to find a buyer for its post division, it has ruled out selling the studios.

A spokeswoman said none of the parties interested in the studios had “met all the evaluation criteria”. “Part of the process was ensuring the right deal for our staff and the offers we had didn't guarantee that,” she said.

BBC Outside Broadcasts operates a large fleet of television production units plus sound, support and communications vehicles and award-winning special cameras.

It covers events ranging from music festivals, drama productions and major state occasions, to Wimbledon, the Olympics and World Cup football.

SIS focuses on TV production, broadcasting and the provision of live pictures and data via satellite from two key sites in London and Milton Keynes.

It also has long-term contracts with the likes of Sky and ITV to provide live coverage of news and sports events, including Formula 1 and Rugby World Cup.