Jun 082014

Sky Europe…? Will BSKyB merge with Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland

An interesting article in the Guardian today on the prospect of a merger between the Sky operations in Europe to form one broadcasting giant.


The question, as 21st Century Fox (prop R Murdoch) and BSkyB (dominant shareholder R Murdoch) seek to decide whether Sky Deutschland, Sky Italia and BSkyRupert can somehow be brought together to form Sky Europe, our continent’s supreme pay-TV operation, is not – curiously – whether an incurably bureaucratic European commission will approve such a controversial deal. For we probably know the answer to that already (from four years ago, when Mr M tried to buy back all of BSkyB).

“The commission has come to the conclusion that BSkyB’s presence as a leading pay-TV operator in the UK and Ireland with News Corporation’s presence as a leading pay-TV operator in Italy, Germany and Austria does not raise serious doubts as to its compatibility with the internal market in relation to a possible increased bargaining power as regards the negotiation and acquisition of rights to TV content.” Which, rationally considered, makes you wonder why the Bun and other Rupertian organs bang on so balefully about the evils of Brussels.

No: the real question is why a continent so rich in history and worldly wealth should be so puny at entertaining and informing itself.


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May 122014

Rupert Murdoch is reportedly looking to combine British Sky Broadcasting Group with Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland.

Bloomberg broke the news about a possible combination of the three main European Sky platforms quoting anonymous sources.

The transaction that would transform British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc (BSY) into a European satellite-TV giant.

BSkyB, partly owned by Fox, is working on a deal valued at about 10 billion euros ($14 billion) to acquire control of satellite carriers Sky Deutschland AG (SKYD) and Sky Italia from Fox, according to people with knowledge of the matter. At the moment, Murdoch holds a 39% stake in BSkyB, while Fox holds 55% of Sky Deutschland and 100% of Sky Italia.

A deal would give BSkyB, already the biggest pay-TV provider in the U.K., oversight of companies that sell satellite programming to 8.5 million homes across Germany and Italy.

In the UK, Sky had 15 million subscribers at the end of March 2014, while Sky D had 3.73 million subscribers, and Sky Italia had 4.75 million. A combined Sky Europe would serve around 23.5 million customers, but such a deal would almost certainly spark the interest of European regulators.