BSkyB to finally become Sky after buying namesakes

BSkyB to finally become Sky after buying namesakes

BSkyB is to change its name to Sky after the pay-TV company completed the acquisition of Sky Italia and a majority interest in Sky Deutschland.

The enlarged company now serves 20 million customers following the combination of businesses in three of Europe’s four biggest markets.

Subject to the approval of shareholders at its annual general meeting next week, British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) will be replaced as the company’s name in order to reflect the international scope of the business.

It will also be listed on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol SKY.

Chief executive Jeremy Darroch said: “The three Sky businesses will be even better together. We have the opportunity to create a business that can lead and shape our industry in the future.”

The broadcaster’s deal with 21st Century Fox, which was first announced in July, involved buying all of Sky Italia for a total of £2.45 billion. It has also acquired 87.45% of Sky Deutschland for £4.4 billion.

The enlarged company will have a combined programme spend of £4.6 billion across Italy, Germany, Austria, the UK and Ireland and employ 31,000 staff over 30 main sites.

Mr Darroch said the potential for future growth was significant as over 60 million households have yet to take pay-TV across the five markets in which Sky operates.

He added: “Customers will benefit as we launch exciting new services, bring them even more great TV and accelerate innovation across all of the markets in which we operate.

“By joining together, we will share our strengths and expertise while retaining a strong identity in each country where we operate. The opportunity ahead is substantial and we believe the new Sky will be good for customers, content creators and shareholders alike.”

Sky is facing increased competition from BT, which launched its own sport channels last August and has bought strong packages of Premier League and Champions League rights.

It is also up against movie and drama competition from internet streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.

21st Century Fox – controlled by tycoon Rupert Murdoch – will continue to own 39% of Sky.

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