British Sky Broadcasting

British Sky Broadcasting

Overview
British Sky Broadcasting Group plc (commonly known as BSkyB; trading as
Doing business as
The phrase "doing business as" is a legal term used in the United States, meaning that the trade name, or fictitious business name, under which the business or operation is conducted and presented to the world is not the legal name of the legal person who actually own it and are responsible for it...

 Sky) is a satellite broadcasting
Satellite television
Satellite television is television programming delivered by the means of communications satellite and received by an outdoor antenna, usually a parabolic mirror generally referred to as a satellite dish, and as far as household usage is concerned, a satellite receiver either in the form of an...

, broadband and telephony services company headquartered in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, with operations in the United Kingdom and the Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

.

Formed in 1990 by the equal merger of Sky Television
Sky Television plc
Sky Television plc was a public limited company which operated its four-channel satellite television service, launched by Rupert Murdoch's News International on 5 February 1989...

 and British Satellite Broadcasting
British Satellite Broadcasting
British Satellite Broadcasting was a British television company which provided direct broadcast satellite television services to the United Kingdom...

, BSkyB is the largest pay-TV broadcaster in the United Kingdom and Ireland with over 10 million subscribers.

BSkyB is listed on the London Stock Exchange
London Stock Exchange
The London Stock Exchange is a stock exchange located in the City of London within the United Kingdom. , the Exchange had a market capitalisation of US$3.7495 trillion, making it the fourth-largest stock exchange in the world by this measurement...

 and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index
FTSE 100 Index
The FTSE 100 Index, also called FTSE 100, FTSE, or, informally, the footsie , is a share index of the 100 most highly capitalised UK companies listed on the London Stock Exchange....

.
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Encyclopedia
British Sky Broadcasting Group plc (commonly known as BSkyB; trading as
Doing business as
The phrase "doing business as" is a legal term used in the United States, meaning that the trade name, or fictitious business name, under which the business or operation is conducted and presented to the world is not the legal name of the legal person who actually own it and are responsible for it...

 Sky) is a satellite broadcasting
Satellite television
Satellite television is television programming delivered by the means of communications satellite and received by an outdoor antenna, usually a parabolic mirror generally referred to as a satellite dish, and as far as household usage is concerned, a satellite receiver either in the form of an...

, broadband and telephony services company headquartered in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, with operations in the United Kingdom and the Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

.

Formed in 1990 by the equal merger of Sky Television
Sky Television plc
Sky Television plc was a public limited company which operated its four-channel satellite television service, launched by Rupert Murdoch's News International on 5 February 1989...

 and British Satellite Broadcasting
British Satellite Broadcasting
British Satellite Broadcasting was a British television company which provided direct broadcast satellite television services to the United Kingdom...

, BSkyB is the largest pay-TV broadcaster in the United Kingdom and Ireland with over 10 million subscribers.

BSkyB is listed on the London Stock Exchange
London Stock Exchange
The London Stock Exchange is a stock exchange located in the City of London within the United Kingdom. , the Exchange had a market capitalisation of US$3.7495 trillion, making it the fourth-largest stock exchange in the world by this measurement...

 and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index
FTSE 100 Index
The FTSE 100 Index, also called FTSE 100, FTSE, or, informally, the footsie , is a share index of the 100 most highly capitalised UK companies listed on the London Stock Exchange....

. News Corporation
News Corporation
News Corporation or News Corp. is an American multinational media conglomerate. It is the world's second-largest media conglomerate as of 2011 in terms of revenue, and the world's third largest in entertainment as of 2009, although the BBC remains the world's largest broadcaster...

 owns a controlling 39.14 percent stake in the company.

History



  • 1989

The Astra
SES Astra
Astra is the name for the geostationary communication satellites, both individually and as a group, which are owned and operated by SES S.A., a global satellite operator based in Betzdorf, in eastern Luxembourg. The name is sometimes also used to describe the channels broadcasting from these...

 satellite network began with the launch of Astra 1A
Astra 1A
Astra 1A was the first satellite launched and operated by SES . During its early days, it was often referred to as the Astra Satellite, as SES only operated one satellite originally....

 in 1989. Sky Television plc
Sky Television plc
Sky Television plc was a public limited company which operated its four-channel satellite television service, launched by Rupert Murdoch's News International on 5 February 1989...

 was the first customer of Astra and leased four transponders on Astra 1A ahead of its launch. With the launch of more Astra satellites from 1991 onward, Sky was able to begin expanding its services, (the Astra satellites were all orbiting co-located at 19.2° east
Astra 19.2°E
Astra 19.2°E is the name for the group of communications satellites co-located at the 19.2°East orbital position in the Clarke Belt that are owned and operated by SES Astra, a subsidiary of SES based in Betzdorf, Luxembourg....

 so they could be received using the same satellite dish).
  • 1990

British Sky Broadcasting was formed by the equal merger of Sky Television
Sky Television plc
Sky Television plc was a public limited company which operated its four-channel satellite television service, launched by Rupert Murdoch's News International on 5 February 1989...

 and British Satellite Broadcasting
British Satellite Broadcasting
British Satellite Broadcasting was a British television company which provided direct broadcast satellite television services to the United Kingdom...

 in 1990. Both companies had begun to struggle financially and were both suffering terrible financial losses. Marco Polo House
Marco Polo House
Marco Polo House is a large marble- and glass-clad office building at 346 Queenstown Road facing Battersea Park in the London Borough of Wandsworth. It was built in 1987, to a design by postmodernist architect Ian Pollard....

 was sold and British Satellite Broadcasting's channels were largely scrapped in favour of Sky Television's channels. (Marcopolo I in December 1993 to NSAB of Sweden; and Marcopolo II in July 1992 to Telenor
Telenor
Telenor Group is the incumbent telecommunications company in Norway, with headquarters located at Fornebu, close to Oslo. Today, Telenor Group is mostly an international wireless carrier with operations in Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and Asia, working predominantly under the Telenor brand...

of Norway. Both Sky Television and British Satellite Broadcasting had one HS376 in orbit at the time.) The merger of both companies saved Sky financially; in the beginning, Sky Television had very few major advertisers, acquiring British Satellite Broadcasting's healthier advertising contracts and equipment solved the companies' problems.
  • 1998

The launch of the Astra 2A
Astra 2A
Astra 2A is a communications satellite owned by SES Astra. Launched in 1998, half its expected end-of-life capacity of 28 transponders were pre-booked by BSkyB, who utilised it to launch their new Sky Digital service...

 satellite at a new orbital position, 28.2° east
Astra 28.2°E
Astra 28.2°E is the name for the group of Astra communications satellites co-located at the 28.2° East position in the Clarke Belt that are owned and operated by SES based in Betzdorf, Luxembourg...

, in 1998 (subsequently followed by more Astra satellites as well as Eutelsat
Eutelsat
Eutelsat S.A. is a French-based satellite provider. Providing coverage over the entire European continent, as well as the Middle East, Africa, India and significant parts of Asia and the Americas, it is one of the world's three leading satellite operators in terms of revenues.Eutelsat’s satellites...

's Eurobird 1
Eurobird 1
Eurobird 1 is a Eutelsat operated Eurobird satellite, used primarily for digital television. It is located at 28.5° east in the Clarke Belt, just within the range of most satellite dishes pointed at SES Astra's Astra 2A, 2B and 2D at 28.2° east...

 at 28.5°E), enabled the company to launch a new all-digital service, Sky, with the potential to carry hundreds of television and radio channels. Sky does not own any of the satellites it has used since withdrawing services from the Marcopolo craft; the Astra satellites are owned and operated by Astra
SES Astra
Astra is the name for the geostationary communication satellites, both individually and as a group, which are owned and operated by SES S.A., a global satellite operator based in Betzdorf, in eastern Luxembourg. The name is sometimes also used to describe the channels broadcasting from these...

 (and Eurobird 1
Eurobird 1
Eurobird 1 is a Eutelsat operated Eurobird satellite, used primarily for digital television. It is located at 28.5° east in the Clarke Belt, just within the range of most satellite dishes pointed at SES Astra's Astra 2A, 2B and 2D at 28.2° east...

 by Eutelsat
Eutelsat
Eutelsat S.A. is a French-based satellite provider. Providing coverage over the entire European continent, as well as the Middle East, Africa, India and significant parts of Asia and the Americas, it is one of the world's three leading satellite operators in terms of revenues.Eutelsat’s satellites...

).
  • 2010

Sky’s direct-to-home satellite service became available in ten million homes in 2010, the first pay-TV platform in Europe to achieve the milestone.
Confirming the target had been reached; the satcaster said the 36% of households in the UK and Ireland represented over 25 million people. The target was first announced in August 2004, since when an additional 2.4 million customers have signed on Sky’s dotted line. It had become the subject of much debate in media circles as to whether the level could actually be reached amid a background of plateauing subscriber numbers elsewhere in Europe.
  • 2011

BSkyB announced that they were moving some channels further up the listings of their electronic programming guide. According to Broadband TV News, this is the biggest reshuffle in EPG places for over a decade, with MTV, Comedy Central
Comedy Central
Comedy Central is an American cable television and satellite television channel that carries comedy programming, both original and syndicated....

, Universal, Syfy, FX, and 40 HD channels moving to more prominent places. As of July 13, News Corporation have dropped their bid for 100% of BSkyB in the light of the News of the World phone hacking scandal.

Management


News Corporation
News Corporation
News Corporation or News Corp. is an American multinational media conglomerate. It is the world's second-largest media conglomerate as of 2011 in terms of revenue, and the world's third largest in entertainment as of 2009, although the BBC remains the world's largest broadcaster...

 currently has a 39.1% stake in BSkyB. News Corp also fully owns Sky Italia
Sky Italia
Sky Italia S.r.l. is an Italian digital satellite television platform owned by News Corporation launched on 1 August 2003, when the former platforms TELE+ and Stream TV merged together...

, about 78% of New Zealand's SKY Network Television Limited
SKY Network Television
Sky Network Television Limited , , is a New Zealand pay television service. On 30 June 2011, Sky had 829,421 subscribers, which comprises:*808,617 digital subscribers*20,840 other subscribers...

 and b.net of Croatia and Montenegro.

The first CEO of BSkyB was Sam Chisholm
Sam Chisholm
Sam Chisholm is a media executive born in New Zealand. He was a significant figure in Australian media. He ran Kerry Packer's Nine Network for a significant period during the 1980s before moving to the UK to work for Packer's rival Rupert Murdoch in rescuing the newly established BSkyB from...

, who was CEO of Sky TV before the merger. Chisholm served in this position until 1997. He was followed by Mark Booth who was credited with leading the company through the introduction of Sky. Tony Ball
Tony Ball
Tony Ball is a British television executive, chairman of Kabel Deutschland and former CEO of BSkyB.-Career:Ball joined Thames Television on graduation as a broadcasting engineer. he was later a founding director of Champion TV, which launched the UK's first dedicated sports channel, The Sports...

 was appointed in 1999 and completed the company's analogue to digital conversion. He is also credited with returning the company to profit and bringing subscriber numbers to new heights. In 2003 Ball announced his resignation and James Murdoch
James Murdoch (media executive)
James Rupert Jacob Murdoch is the younger son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch and currently serves as chairman and chief executive of News Corporation, Europe, and Asia, overseeing assets such as News International , SKY Italia , Sky Deutschland, and STAR TV .He sits on the News...

, son of Rupert Murdoch was announced as his successor. This appointment caused allegations of nepotism
Nepotism
Nepotism is favoritism granted to relatives regardless of merit. The word nepotism is from the Latin word nepos, nepotis , from which modern Romanian nepot and Italian nipote, "nephew" or "grandchild" are also descended....

 from shareholders.

On 7 December 2007 it was announced that Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch
Keith Rupert Murdoch, AC, KSG is an Australian-American business magnate. He is the founder and Chairman and CEO of , the world's second-largest media conglomerate....

 would be stepping down as BSkyB's Non-Executive Chairman and would be replaced by his son, James
James Murdoch (media executive)
James Rupert Jacob Murdoch is the younger son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch and currently serves as chairman and chief executive of News Corporation, Europe, and Asia, overseeing assets such as News International , SKY Italia , Sky Deutschland, and STAR TV .He sits on the News...

. It was also announced that James would be stepping down as CEO of BSkyB and will be replaced by Jeremy Darroch.

News Corporation takeover proposal


The News Corporation takeover bid for BSkyB was launched in June 2010, and withdrawn in July 2011 following the News International phone hacking scandal. News Corporation
News Corporation
News Corporation or News Corp. is an American multinational media conglomerate. It is the world's second-largest media conglomerate as of 2011 in terms of revenue, and the world's third largest in entertainment as of 2009, although the BBC remains the world's largest broadcaster...

 already owned 39.1% of BSkyB, and held on to its stake following the collapse of the takeover bid.

Subsidiaries

British Sky Broadcasting Ltd
Operating company for the Sky pay-television service.
Sky Subscriber Services Ltd
The original Sky Television plc
Sky Television plc
Sky Television plc was a public limited company which operated its four-channel satellite television service, launched by Rupert Murdoch's News International on 5 February 1989...

, now a holding company
Sports Internet Group Ltd
Sports content and online betting services.
British Interactive Broadcasting Holdings Ltd
Interactive television
Interactive television
Interactive television describes a number of techniques that allow viewers to interact with television content as they view it.- Definitions :...

 services, formerly an alliance of BSkyB, BT Group
BT Group
BT Group plc is a global telecommunications services company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is one of the largest telecommunications services companies in the world and has operations in more than 170 countries. Through its BT Global Services division it is a major supplier of...

, HSBC
HSBC
HSBC Holdings plc is a global banking and financial services company headquartered in Canary Wharf, London, United Kingdom. it is the world's second-largest banking and financial services group and second-largest public company according to a composite measure by Forbes magazine...

 and Matsushita.
Mykindaplace.com
Being both an agency and a media owner, run many successful sites. – Now defunct
Aura Sports Ltd
Media Sales Agency, sells advertising on the majority of premiership football club websites, as well as other major sports.
Aura Play Ltd
Another Media Sales Agency, sells advertising across a number of websites in the music and entertainment sector.
Sky Ireland
Operating company for Sky pay-television service in the Republic of Ireland.
Living TV Group
A British television content arm, operating a number of channels.

Ventures

A+E Networks UK (50%) – with A&E Television Networks
A&E Television Networks
A&E Television Networks is a U.S. media company that owns a group of television channels available via cable & satellite in the US and abroad...

. Operates History (UK), Bio. (UK) and Crime & Investigation Network (UK) channels.
Attheraces Holdings Limited (48.5%) – with Arena Leisure
Arena Leisure
Arena Leisure plc is a public limited company based in London, England, that is the operator of seven of the UK's horse racing courses and other leisure industry interests. The company was founded in 1997. The company operates golf courses, hotels and joint ventures with a 47.85% stake in "At The...

. Operates At the Races
At the Races
At The Races is a British television channel, originally co-founded with Channel 4, but now owned by a partnership between British Sky Broadcasting, Arena Leisure Plc and 30 UK racecourses....

.
Australian News Channel Pty Limited (33.3%) – with Seven Network
Seven Network
The Seven Network is an Australian television network owned by Seven West Media Limited. It dates back to 4 November 1956, when the first stations on the VHF7 frequency were established in Melbourne and Sydney.It is currently the second largest network in the country in terms of population reach...

 and Nine Entertainment Co.. Operates Sky News Australia
Sky News Australia
Sky News Australia is an Australian 24 hour cable and satellite news channel available in 2.5 million homes on Foxtel, Austar, Optus Television and Neighbourhood Cable subscription platforms....

.
Chelsea Digital Media (35%) – with Chelsea FC. Operates Chelsea TV
Chelsea TV
Chelsea TV is a British subscription based sports television channel, dedicated to the fans of the English Premier League football club, Chelsea. The channel first launched in August 2001 on Sky Digital. The station is registered with Ofcom as Chelsea Digital Media Ltd. It broadcasts daily from...

.
MUTV Limited (33.3%) – with Manchester United F.C.
Manchester United F.C.
Manchester United Football Club is an English professional football club, based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, that plays in the Premier League. Founded as Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878, the club changed its name to Manchester United in 1902 and moved to Old Trafford in 1910.The 1958...

 Operates MUTV.
Nickelodeon UK Ltd (40%) – with MTV Networks Europe
MTV Networks Europe
MTV Networks Europe is a division of Viacom International Media Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom.MTV Networks Europe includes the multimedia entertainment brands: MTV, VH1, TMF, VIVA, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and Nick Jr...

, part of Viacom
Viacom
Viacom Inc. , short for "Video & Audio Communications", is an American media conglomerate with interests primarily in, but not limited to, cinema and cable television...

. Operates MTV UK, Nickelodeon UK
Nickelodeon UK
Nickelodeon is a children's television channel available on Sky, Virgin Media, Smallworld Cable, TalkTalk TV and UPC Ireland in the United Kingdom and Ireland, including on demand on BT Vision. The channel was launched on 1 September 1993...

 and associated channels.

Partnerships

Comedy Central (UK)
Comedy Central (UK)
Comedy Central in the United Kingdom and Ireland is a localised version of Comedy Central which first began in the United States in the 1990s. The television channel is available through the Sky, Virgin Media, TalkTalk TV in the United Kingdom, Sky Ireland, UPC Ireland and Magnet Networks in the...

 (25%) – with Paramount British Pictures, part of Viacom
Viacom
Viacom Inc. , short for "Video & Audio Communications", is an American media conglomerate with interests primarily in, but not limited to, cinema and cable television...

DTV Services Ltd (20%) – with Arqiva
Arqiva
Arqiva is a telecommunications company which provides infrastructure and broadcast transmission facilities in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. The present company, with headquarters located at Crawley Court in the village of Crawley, Hampshire, was formed by National Grid Wireless...

, BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 Channel 4
Channel 4
Channel 4 is a British public-service television broadcaster which began working on 2 November 1982. Although largely commercially self-funded, it is ultimately publicly owned; originally a subsidiary of the Independent Broadcasting Authority , the station is now owned and operated by the Channel...

 and ITV plc
ITV plc
ITV plc is a British media company that operates 12 of the 15 regional television broadcasters that make up the ITV Network, the oldest and largest commercial terrestrial television network in the United Kingdom...

. Manages and markets the Freeview brand.
NGC Network International LLC and NGC Network Latin America LLC (21%) – with National Geographic
National Geographic Society
The National Geographic Society , headquartered in Washington, D.C. in the United States, is one of the largest non-profit scientific and educational institutions in the world. Its interests include geography, archaeology and natural science, the promotion of environmental and historical...

.

Stake in ITV


ITV plc
ITV plc
ITV plc is a British media company that operates 12 of the 15 regional television broadcasters that make up the ITV Network, the oldest and largest commercial terrestrial television network in the United Kingdom...

 has been the subject of a flurry of rumoured take-over and merger bids since it was formed. For example, on 9 November 2006, NTL announced that it had approached ITV plc about a proposed merger. The merger was effectively blocked by BSkyB on 17 November 2006 when it controversially bought a 17.9% stake in ITV plc for £940 million, a move that attracted anger from NTL shareholder Richard Branson
Richard Branson
Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson is an English business magnate, best known for his Virgin Group of more than 400 companies....

 and an investigation from media and telecoms regulator Ofcom
Ofcom
Ofcom is the government-approved regulatory authority for the broadcasting and telecommunications industries in the United Kingdom. Ofcom was initially established by the Office of Communications Act 2002. It received its full authority from the Communications Act 2003...

. On 6 December 2006, NTL announced that it had complained to the Office of Fair Trading
Office of Fair Trading
The Office of Fair Trading is a not-for-profit and non-ministerial government department of the United Kingdom, established by the Fair Trading Act 1973, which enforces both consumer protection and competition law, acting as the UK's economic regulator...

 about BSkyB's move. NTL stated that it had withdrawn its attempt to buy ITV plc, citing that it did not believe that there was any possibility to make a deal on favourable terms. At the same time as the NTL bid, RTL Group
RTL Group
RTL Group is Europe's largest TV, radio and production company, and is majority-owned by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann. It has 45 television and 32 radio stations in 11 countries...

, the then-owner of Channel 5, was also rumoured to be preparing a bid for ITV plc, with the possibility of a stock-swap with BSkyB. The plan would see RTL Group
RTL Group
RTL Group is Europe's largest TV, radio and production company, and is majority-owned by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann. It has 45 television and 32 radio stations in 11 countries...

 acquiring BSkyB's stake in ITV plc (with the aim of further acquisitions of shares in the future) in exchange for BSkyB taking full control of Channel 5. However, no move materialised and RTL Group sold Channel 5 to Richard Desmond's Northern & Shell in July 2010.

Finance



Turnover and profit or loss, by fiscal year
Year ended Turnover (£m) Profit/(loss)
before tax (£m)
Net profit/
(loss)(£m)
30 June 2010 5,912 1,173 878
30 June 2009 5,359 456 259
30 June 2008 4,952 60 (127)
30 June 2007 4,551 815 499
30 June 2006 4,148 798 551
30 June 2005 4,048 631 425
30 June 2004 3,656 480 322
30 June 2003 3,186 128 190
30 June 2002 2,776 (1,276) (1,383)
30 June 2001 2,306 (515) (539)
30 June 2000 1,847 (263) (272)
30 June 1999 1,545 (389) (285)
30 June 1998 1,434 271 249
30 June 1997 1,270 314 288
30 June 1996 1,008 257
30 June 1995 778 155
30 June 1994 550 93
30 June 1993 380 (76)
30 June 1992 233 (188)
30 June 1991 93 (759)



Digital Terrestrial Television


BSkyB initially faced competition from the ONdigital digital terrestrial television
Digital terrestrial television
Digital terrestrial television is the technological evolution of broadcast television and advance from analog television, which broadcasts land-based signals...

 service (later renamed ITV Digital
ITV Digital
ITV Digital was a British digital terrestrial television broadcaster, which launched a pay-TV service on the world's first digital terrestrial television network as ONdigital in 1998 and briefly re-branded as ITV Digital in July 2001, before the service ceased in May 2002. Its main shareholders...

). ITV Digital failed for numerous reasons, including, but not limited to numerous administrative and technical failures, nervous investors after a large down-turn in the advertising market and the dot com crash, and BSkyB's aggressive marketing and domination of premium sporting rights.

Sky was more receptive to ITV Digital's free-to-air
Free-to-air
Free-to-air describes television and radio services broadcast in clear form, allowing any person with the appropriate receiving equipment to receive the signal and view or listen to the content without requiring a subscription or one-off fee...

 replacement, Freeview, in which it holds an equal stake with the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

, ITV
ITV plc
ITV plc is a British media company that operates 12 of the 15 regional television broadcasters that make up the ITV Network, the oldest and largest commercial terrestrial television network in the United Kingdom...

, Channel 4
Channel 4
Channel 4 is a British public-service television broadcaster which began working on 2 November 1982. Although largely commercially self-funded, it is ultimately publicly owned; originally a subsidiary of the Independent Broadcasting Authority , the station is now owned and operated by the Channel...

 and National Grid Wireless. Prior to October 2005, three BSkyB channels were available on this platform: Sky News
Sky News
Sky News is a 24-hour British and international satellite television news broadcaster with an emphasis on UK and international news stories.The service places emphasis on rolling news, including the latest breaking news. Sky News also hosts localised versions of the channel in Australia and in New...

, Sky Three, and Sky Sports News
Sky Sports News
Sky Sports News is a 24-hour sports news channel in the United Kingdom. It is run by BSkyB whose sports channels include Sky Sports 1, 2, 3 and 4, as well as Sky Sports HD1, HD2, HD3 and HD4....

. Initially BSkyB provided Sky Travel
Sky Travel
Sky Real Lives was an in-house channel from BSkyB that showed extensive programmes about travel, adverts for travel agencies and documentaries. The channels closed on 19 August 2010.-History:...

 to the service. However, this was replaced by Sky Three on 31 October 2005, allowing BSkyB to air its exclusive licensed content with delays of between 12–18 months from their original air dates on Sky One.

Terrestrial television companies currently have limited bandwidth. This means that, at present, there is little or no option to offer HD services, until after the final analogue television services are switched off in 2012 freeing up substantial bandwidth.

In a response to the push towards Free to Air services such as Freesat
Freesat
Freesat is a free-to-air digital satellite television joint venture between the BBC and ITV plc, serving the United Kingdom. The service was formed as a memorandum in 2007 and has been marketed since 6 May 2008...

 and Freeview, BSkyB has marketed its own free to view offering (Freesat from Sky
Freesat from Sky
Freesat from Sky is a British satellite television service from BSkyB. It offers over 240 free-to-air channels and 12 free-to-view encrypted channels...

).

On 8 February 2007, Sky announced its intention to replace its three free-to-air digital terrestrial channels with four subscription channels. It was proposed that these channels would offer a range of content from the Sky portfolio including sport (including English Premiership Football), movies, entertainment and news. The announcement came a day after Setanta Sports
Setanta Sports
Setanta Sports is an international sports broadcaster based in Dublin, Ireland. Setanta Sports was formed in 1990 to facilitate the broadcasting of Irish sporting events...

 confirmed that it would launch in March as a subscription service on the digital terrestrial platform, and on the same day that NTL's services re-branded as Virgin Media
Virgin Media
Virgin Media Inc. is a company which provides fixed and mobile telephone, television and broadband internet services to businesses and consumers in the United Kingdom...

. However, industry sources believe Sky will be forced to shelve plans to withdraw its channels from Freeview and replace them with subscription channels, due to possible lost advertising revenue.

Video on demand


Sky is facing increased competition from telecommunications providers delivering pay television services over existing telephone lines using ADSL. Such providers are potentially able to offer "triple-play" or "quad-play" packages combining land-line telephone, broadband Internet, mobile telephone and pay television services.

In the final quarter of 2006, BT
BT Group
BT Group plc is a global telecommunications services company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is one of the largest telecommunications services companies in the world and has operations in more than 170 countries. Through its BT Global Services division it is a major supplier of...

, the UK's biggest Telephone company, launched BT Vision
BT Vision
BT Vision is a hybrid IPTV-digital terrestrial television service provided by BT Group in the United Kingdom which was launched in December 2006...

. The BT Vision set-top box
Set-top box
A set-top box or set-top unit is an information appliance device that generally contains a tuner and connects to a television set and an external source of signal, turning the signal into content which is then displayed on the television screen or other display device.-History:Before the...

, provides true Video on Demand (VoD) over BT's telephone lines using ADSL. The set-top-box complements the VoD component by providing access to the Freeview digital terrestrial television
Digital terrestrial television
Digital terrestrial television is the technological evolution of broadcast television and advance from analog television, which broadcasts land-based signals...

 service. TalkTalk TV also offers an IPTV service with many channels, including Sky's channels, delivered to a set top box over ADSL.

To compete with these providers, in October 2005, BSkyB bought the broadband
Broadband
The term broadband refers to a telecommunications signal or device of greater bandwidth, in some sense, than another standard or usual signal or device . Different criteria for "broad" have been applied in different contexts and at different times...

 Internet Service Provider
Internet service provider
An Internet service provider is a company that provides access to the Internet. Access ISPs directly connect customers to the Internet using copper wires, wireless or fiber-optic connections. Hosting ISPs lease server space for smaller businesses and host other people servers...

 Easynet
Easynet
Easynet Global Services are a provider of managed network, hosting and telepresence solutions for businesses and enterprises worldwide.Founded in 1994, Easynet Global Services are part of the Easynet group of companies, along with Easynet Connect and UK Online.It was a part of BSkyB, a FTSE top 50...

  for £211 million. This acquisition allowed BSkyB to start offering its "Sky Anytime on PC" service as well as a "triple play
Triple play (telecommunications)
In telecommunications, triple play service is a marketing term for the provisioning of two bandwidth-intensive services, high-speed Internet access and television, and a less bandwidth-demanding service, telephone, over a single broadband connection. Triple play focuses on a combined business...

" package combining satellite television, land-line telephone and Broadband service. Sky also offers some streaming live TV channels to a computer using Microsoft's Silverlight.

Sky Anytime+
Sky Anytime+
Sky Anytime+ is the brand-name of a ‘pull’ video on demand extension to the Sky Anytime service on BSkyB's Sky satellite television platform.-History:...

, a true Video on Demand
Video on demand
Video on Demand or Audio and Video On Demand are systems which allow users to select and watch/listen to video or audio content on demand...

 service was rolled out to existing Sky set-top boxes throughout 2010, the service is delivered via ADSL to Sky Broadband subscribers.

On 6 July 2011, Sky Player and Sky Mobile TV services were merged and rebranded as Sky Go.

Xbox 360


On 29 May 2009, it was confirmed that Sky Player would be made available via Microsoft
Microsoft
Microsoft Corporation is an American public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through its various product divisions...

's Xbox 360
Xbox 360
The Xbox 360 is the second video game console produced by Microsoft and the successor to the Xbox. The Xbox 360 competes with Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii as part of the seventh generation of video game consoles...

 games console. Included is live streaming of various television channels, on-demand movies and live sports programming. This was a worldwide first for Microsoft, and is only available in the UK and Ireland.

Sports



BSkyB's purchase of broadcast rights for major sporting events, most importantly Premiership football, has been the bedrock of its success. The company paid over £300 million for the Premier League rights, beating the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 and ITV
ITV
ITV is the major commercial public service TV network in the United Kingdom. Launched in 1955 under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority to provide competition to the BBC, it is also the oldest commercial network in the UK...

, and has had a monopoly of live matches since the inception of the Premier League in 1992. Murdoch has described sport as a "battering ram" for pay-television, providing a strong customer base.

However, following a lengthy legal battle with the European Commission, which deemed the exclusivity of the rights to be against the interests of competition and the consumer, BSkyB's monopoly came to an end from the 2007–08 season
2007-08 in English football
The 2007–08 season was the 128th season of competitive football in England.-European competitions:In October 2007 Arsenal equalled the UEFA Champions League record victory with a 7–0 win over Slavia Prague at the Emirates Stadium. The record was broken the following month when Liverpool...

. In May 2006 the Irish broadcaster Setanta Sports
Setanta Sports
Setanta Sports is an international sports broadcaster based in Dublin, Ireland. Setanta Sports was formed in 1990 to facilitate the broadcasting of Irish sporting events...

 was awarded two of the six Premiership packages that the English FA offered to broadcasters. Sky picked up the remaining four for £1.3 billion.

BT offer a pay per view service of selected Premier League matches through their BT Vision
BT Vision
BT Vision is a hybrid IPTV-digital terrestrial television service provided by BT Group in the United Kingdom which was launched in December 2006...

 service, and Virgin Media
Virgin Media
Virgin Media Inc. is a company which provides fixed and mobile telephone, television and broadband internet services to businesses and consumers in the United Kingdom...

 offer free highlights on the Virgin Media website.

High Definition



Sky launched its HDTV service, Sky+ HD, on 22 May 2006. Prior to its launch, Sky claimed that 40,000 people had registered to receive the HD service. In the week before the launch, rumours started to surface that Sky was having supply issues with its Set Top Box (STB) from manufacturer Thomson
Thomson SA
Technicolor SA , formerly Thomson SA and Thomson Multimedia, is a French international provider of solutions for the creation, management, post-production, delivery and access of video, for the Communication, Media and Entertainment industries. Technicolor’s headquarters are located in Issy les...

. On Thursday 18 May 2006, and continuing through the weekend before launch, people were reporting that Sky had either cancelled or rescheduled its installation. Finally, the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 reported that 17,000 customers had yet to receive the service due to failed deliveries. The event was widely seen as an embarrassment for Sky, who until that point, had been extremely conservative in new service launch schedules. The supply issues were resolved shortly after the initial launch date.

According to figures published by Sky, there are 2,082,000 subscribers to the Sky+ HD service as of 30 December 2009.

3D



Sky began to broadcast programmes in 3D
3D television
A 3D television is a television set that employs techniques of 3D presentation, such as stereoscopic capture, multi-view capture, or 2D-plus-depth, and a 3D display – a special viewing device to project a television program into a realistic three-dimensional field.- History :In the late-1890's,...

 in April 2010. This included new 3D channels, including a Sky Sports 3D and Sky Movies 3D. Sky previously experimented with 3D broadcasting by broadcasting an Arsenal
Arsenal F.C.
Arsenal Football Club is a professional English Premier League football club based in North London. One of the most successful clubs in English football, it has won 13 First Division and Premier League titles and 10 FA Cups...

 vs Manchester United
Manchester United F.C.
Manchester United Football Club is an English professional football club, based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, that plays in the Premier League. Founded as Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878, the club changed its name to Manchester United in 1902 and moved to Old Trafford in 1910.The 1958...

 football game live in 3D in nine pubs situated throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland

Restrictions


Sky subscribers in the Republic of Ireland have a different choice of channels compared to Northern Ireland or subscribers in Great Britain. The standard Irish channels RTÉ One
RTÉ One
RTÉ One is the flagship television channel of Raidió Teilifís Éireann , and it is the most popular and most watched television channel in Ireland. It was launched as Telefís Éireann on 31 December 1961, it was renamed RTÉ Television in 1966, and it was renamed as RTÉ One upon the launch of RTÉ...

, RTÉ Two
RTÉ Two
RTÉ Two is a free-to-air general entertainment channel operated by Irish state broadcaster Raidió Teilifís Éireann. RTÉ Two is available throughout the island of Ireland through digital terrestrial service Saorview, VHF and UHF bands, and is also available via satellite to Irish subscribers of...

, TV3, TG4
TG4
TG4 is a public service broadcaster for Irish language speakers. The channel has been on-air since 31 October 1996 in the Republic of Ireland and since April 2005 in Northern Ireland....

 and 3e
3E
3E or 3-E may refer to:*3e, general entertainment channel operated in Ireland*3rd meridian east*Third edition in the Editions of Dungeons & Dragons*NY 3E, alternate name for New York State Route 104*OK-3E, abbreviation for Oklahoma State Highway 3...

 are available to all Irish subscribers and unavailable by any other means on Satellite. However only BBC One Northern Ireland
BBC One Northern Ireland
BBC One Northern Ireland is the national variation for BBC Northern Ireland of the network BBC One service broadcast by the BBC. The service is broadcast in Northern Ireland from Broadcasting House in Belfast...

, BBC Two Northern Ireland and Channel 4
Channel 4
Channel 4 is a British public-service television broadcaster which began working on 2 November 1982. Although largely commercially self-funded, it is ultimately publicly owned; originally a subsidiary of the Independent Broadcasting Authority , the station is now owned and operated by the Channel...

 are available to Irish Sky subscribers. Free to air channels like the ITV
ITV
ITV is the major commercial public service TV network in the United Kingdom. Launched in 1955 under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority to provide competition to the BBC, it is also the oldest commercial network in the UK...

 family of channels, BBC Three
BBC Three
BBC Three is a television network from the BBC broadcasting via digital cable, terrestrial, IPTV and satellite platforms. The channel's target audience includes those in the 16-34 year old age group, and has the purpose of providing "innovative" content to younger audiences, focusing on new talent...

, BBC Four
BBC Four
BBC Four is a British television network operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation and available to digital television viewers on Freeview, IPTV, satellite and cable....

, BBC News
BBC News
BBC News is the department of the British Broadcasting Corporation responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs. The department is the world's largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online...

 and Channel Five
Channel Five
Channel 5 is a television network that broadcasts in the United Kingdom. Launched in 1997, it was the fifth and final national terrestrial analogue network to launch. The station was branded as Five between 2002 and 2010...

  can only be tuned via the Other Channels section. As these channels are only available via the Other Channels section it is not possible for Irish Sky+
Sky+
Sky+, or Sky Plus, is a personal video recorder service for Sky in the UK. Launched in September 2001, it allows the user to record, pause and instantly rewind live TV. The system performs these functions using an internal hard drive inside the Sky+ set top box...

 or Sky+ HD subscribers to record programmes from these channels onto their boxes. Sky pays the BBC for the right to include BBC One and BBC Two NI on the Irish EPG. Northern Ireland subscribers in some packages get RTÉ One
RTÉ One
RTÉ One is the flagship television channel of Raidió Teilifís Éireann , and it is the most popular and most watched television channel in Ireland. It was launched as Telefís Éireann on 31 December 1961, it was renamed RTÉ Television in 1966, and it was renamed as RTÉ One upon the launch of RTÉ...

, RTÉ Two
RTÉ Two
RTÉ Two is a free-to-air general entertainment channel operated by Irish state broadcaster Raidió Teilifís Éireann. RTÉ Two is available throughout the island of Ireland through digital terrestrial service Saorview, VHF and UHF bands, and is also available via satellite to Irish subscribers of...

 and TG4
TG4
TG4 is a public service broadcaster for Irish language speakers. The channel has been on-air since 31 October 1996 in the Republic of Ireland and since April 2005 in Northern Ireland....

, since the signing of the Good Friday agreement to let RTÉ broadcast there.

Products


Sky utilizes the VideoGuard
VideoGuard
VideoGuard , produced by NDS, is a digital encryption system for use with conditional access television broadcasting. It is used on digital satellite television systems - some of which are operated by News Corporation, which owns about half of NDS...

 pay-TV scrambling system owned by NDS
NDS Group
NDS Group Plc. is a developer of pay TV technology. NDS was established in 1988 as an Israeli start up company. It was acquired by News Corporation in 1992. The company is currently headquartered in Staines, United Kingdom...

, a Permira
Permira
Permira is a United Kingdom-based private equity firm with global reach. The firm advises funds with a total committed capital of approximately €20 billion....

/News Corporation
News Corporation
News Corporation or News Corp. is an American multinational media conglomerate. It is the world's second-largest media conglomerate as of 2011 in terms of revenue, and the world's third largest in entertainment as of 2009, although the BBC remains the world's largest broadcaster...

 company. There are tight controls over use of VideoGuard decoders; they are not available as stand-alone DVB CAMs (Conditional Access Modules). BSkyB has design authority over all digital satellite receivers capable of receiving their service. The receivers, though designed and built by different manufacturers, must conform to the same user interface look-and-feel as all the others. This extends to the Personal video recorder (PVR) offering (branded Sky+
Sky+
Sky+, or Sky Plus, is a personal video recorder service for Sky in the UK. Launched in September 2001, it allows the user to record, pause and instantly rewind live TV. The system performs these functions using an internal hard drive inside the Sky+ set top box...

). BSkyB initially charged additional subscription fees for using a Sky+ PVR with their service; waiving the charge for subscribers whose package included two or more premium channels. This changed as from 1 July 2007, and now customers that have Sky+ and subscribe to any Sky subscription package get Sky+ included at no extra charge. Customers that don't subscribe to Sky's channels can still pay a monthly fee to enable Sky+ functions. In January 2010 Sky discontinued the Sky+ Box, limited the standard Sky Box to Multiroom upgrade only and started to issue the Sky+HD Box as standard, thus giving all new subscribers the functions of Sky+. In February 2011 Sky discontinued the non-HD variant of their Multiroom box, offering a smaller version of the SkyHD box without Sky+ functionality. In September 2007, Sky launched a new TV advertising campaign targeting Sky+ at women. As of 31 March 2008, Sky have 3,393,000 Sky+ users.

Competition


On 12 July 2011, former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown
James Gordon Brown is a British Labour Party politician who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Labour Party from 2007 until 2010. He previously served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Labour Government from 1997 to 2007...

 claimed that BSkyB's majority owner - News Corporation
News Corporation
News Corporation or News Corp. is an American multinational media conglomerate. It is the world's second-largest media conglomerate as of 2011 in terms of revenue, and the world's third largest in entertainment as of 2009, although the BBC remains the world's largest broadcaster...

 attempted to affect government policy with regards to the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 in pursuit of their own commercial interests (i.e. BSkyB). He went further, in a speech in Parliament on 13 July 2011, stating:

"Mr James Murdoch, which included his cold assertion that profit not standards was what mattered in the media, underpinned an ever more aggressive News International and BSkyB agenda under his and Mrs Brooks’ leadership that was brutal in its simplicity. Their aim was to cut the BBC licence fee, to force BBC online to charge for its content, for the BBC to sell off its commercial activities, to open up more national sporting events to bids from BSkyB and move them away from the BBC, to open up the cable and satellite infrastructure market, and to reduce the power of their regulator, Ofcom. I rejected those policies."


On July 13, 2011, MP Chris Bryant
Chris Bryant
Christopher John Bryant is a British Labour Party politician, who has been the Member of Parliament for Rhondda since 2001...

 stated to the House of Commons, in the Parliamentary Debate on the Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch
Keith Rupert Murdoch, AC, KSG is an Australian-American business magnate. He is the founder and Chairman and CEO of , the world's second-largest media conglomerate....

 and News Corporation
News Corporation
News Corporation or News Corp. is an American multinational media conglomerate. It is the world's second-largest media conglomerate as of 2011 in terms of revenue, and the world's third largest in entertainment as of 2009, although the BBC remains the world's largest broadcaster...

 Bid for BSkyB that the company was anti-competitive:

"The company has lots of technological innovation that only a robust entrepreneur could to bring to British society, but it has also often been profoundly anti-competitive. I believe that the bundling of channels so as to increase the profit and make it impossible for others to participate in the market is anti-competitive. I believe that the way in which the application programming interface—the operating system—has been used has been anti-competitive and that Sky has deliberately set about selling set-top boxes elsewhere, outside areas where they have proper rights. If one visits a flat in Spain where a British person lives, one finds that they mysteriously manage to have a Sky box there even though it is registered to a house in the United Kingdom."

Virgin Media


Virgin Media
Virgin Media
Virgin Media Inc. is a company which provides fixed and mobile telephone, television and broadband internet services to businesses and consumers in the United Kingdom...

 (Re-branded in 2007 from NTL:Telewest) is a major competitor to Sky in the satellite broadcasting market. Virgin Media
Virgin Media
Virgin Media Inc. is a company which provides fixed and mobile telephone, television and broadband internet services to businesses and consumers in the United Kingdom...

's cable network was also formed by numerous mergers and acquisitions over the last decade, with different cable companies having used different types of network and technology in their areas.

Virgin Media currently own a 50% stake in the UKTV
UKTV
UKTV is a digital cable and satellite television network, formed through a joint venture between BBC Worldwide, a commercial subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation, and Scripps Networks Interactive, spun off from The E.W Scripps Company in 2008...

 network and previously owned Sit-up Ltd
Sit-up Ltd
Bid Shopping is a UK based broadcaster which launched in 2000.To over 12 million homes, it delivers a portfolio of falling price shopping television channels. On 1 April 2009 it was announced that Sit-Up Ltd had been sold by Virgin Media to AURELIUS AG. The purchase price or terms of the agreement...

 and Virgin Media Television, the former content arm of Telewest
Telewest
Telewest, formerly Telewest Broadband and Telewest Communications was a cable Internet, broadband internet, telephone supplier and cable television provider in the United Kingdom...

, then known as Flextech Television.

Like Sky, Virgin Media offers a high-definition television
High-definition television
High-definition television is video that has resolution substantially higher than that of traditional television systems . HDTV has one or two million pixels per frame, roughly five times that of SD...

 (HDTV) capable set top box, although from 30 November 2006 until 30 July 2009 it only carried one linear HD channel, BBC HD
BBC HD
BBC HD is a high-definition television network provided by the BBC. The service was initially run as a trial from 15 May 2006 until becoming a full service on 1 December 2007...

, after the conclusion of the ITV HD
ITV HD
ITV1 HD is a British free-to-air high-definition television channel operated by ITV plc, the company which is contracted to provide 11 ITV services across the UK. ITV1 HD is available to view in England, Wales and the Scottish Borders on Freesat via channel 119, Freeview channel 51, Sky channel...

 trial. Virgin has claimed that other HD channels were "locked up" or otherwise withheld from their platform, although Virgin did in fact have an option to carry Channel 4 HD in the future. Nonetheless, the linear channels were not offered, Virgin instead concentrating on its Video On Demand
Video on demand
Video on Demand or Audio and Video On Demand are systems which allow users to select and watch/listen to video or audio content on demand...

 service to carry a modest selection of HD content. Virgin has nevertheless made a number of statements over the years, suggesting that more linear HD channels are on the way.

In Q3 2009 Virgin announced that it was making more linear HD channels available on its platform, including FX HD, MTVN HD, Channel 4 HD, and National Geographic HD. As expected, Living HD followed shortly.

In 2007, BSkyB and Virgin Media became involved in a dispute over the carriage of Sky channels on cable TV. The failure to renew the existing carriage agreements negotiated with NTL and Telewest resulted in Virgin removing the basic channels from the network on 1 March 2007. Virgin claimed that Sky had substantially increased the asking price for the channels, a claim which Sky denied, on the basis that their new deal offered "substantially more value" by including HD channels and Video On Demand content which was not previously carried by cable.

In response, Sky ran a number of TV, radio and print advertisements claiming that Virgin media 'doubted the value' of the channels concerned, at first urging Virgin customers to call their cable operator to show their support for Sky, but later urging Virgin customers to migrate to Sky to continue receiving the channels. The broadcasting regulator Ofcom subsequently found these commercials in breach of their code.

The availability (at an extra charge) of Sky's premium sport and movie services was not affected by the dispute. This impasse continued for twenty-one months, with both companies initiating High Court proceedings. Amongst Virgin's claims to the court (denied by Sky) were that Sky had unfairly reduced the amount which it paid to VMTV for the carriage of Virgin's own channels on satellite.

Eventually, on 4 November 2008 it was announced that an agreement had been struck for Sky's Basic channels – including Sky1, Sky2
Sky2
Sky2 is a British television channel originally launched on 2 December 2002 as Sky One Mix. Sky2 is now available on Sky, Virgin Media, Smallworld Cable and TalkTalk TV platforms in the UK. It is also available in the Republic of Ireland on the UPC Ireland platform.-Rebrand:Sky One Mix was...

, Sky3, Sky News
Sky News
Sky News is a 24-hour British and international satellite television news broadcaster with an emphasis on UK and international news stories.The service places emphasis on rolling news, including the latest breaking news. Sky News also hosts localised versions of the channel in Australia and in New...

, Sky Sports News
Sky Sports News
Sky Sports News is a 24-hour sports news channel in the United Kingdom. It is run by BSkyB whose sports channels include Sky Sports 1, 2, 3 and 4, as well as Sky Sports HD1, HD2, HD3 and HD4....

, Sky Arts 1
Sky Arts
Sky Arts and Sky Arts HD is the brand name for a group of art-oriented television channels offering 18 hours a day of programmes dedicated to highbrow arts, including theatrical performances, movies, documentaries and music...

, Sky Arts 2
Sky Arts
Sky Arts and Sky Arts HD is the brand name for a group of art-oriented television channels offering 18 hours a day of programmes dedicated to highbrow arts, including theatrical performances, movies, documentaries and music...

, Sky Real Lives and Sky Real Lives 2 to return to Virgin Media from 13 November 2008 until 12 June 2011. In exchange will be provided continued carriage of Virgin Media Television's channels – Living, Livingit, Bravo, Bravo +1, Trouble, Challenge and Virgin1 for the same period.

The agreements include fixed annual carriage fees of £30m for the channels with both channel suppliers able to secure additional capped payments if their channels meet certain performance-related targets. Currently there is no indication as to whether the new deal includes the additional Video On Demand and High Definition content which had previously been offered by Sky. As part of the agreements, both Sky and Virgin Media agreed to terminate all High Court proceedings against each other relating to the carriage of their respective basic channels.

On 4 June 2010, British Sky Broadcasting and Virgin Media announced that they have reached agreement for the acquisition by Sky of Virgin Media Television. The companies have, in parallel, agreed to enter into a number of agreements providing for the carriage of certain Sky standard and high-definition (HD) channels. Sky acquired VMtv for a total consideration of up to £160 million in cash, with £105 million paid on completion and the remainder paid following the regulatory process. The acquisition expanded Sky's portfolio of basic pay TV channels and eliminated the carriage fees it previously paid for distributing VMtv channels on its TV services. New carriage agreements will secure wholesale distribution of Sky's basic channel line-up, including Sky1 and Sky Arts, and the newly acquired VMtv channels, on Virgin Media's cable TV service. For an incremental wholesale fee, Virgin Media will, for the first time, have the option of carrying any of Sky's basic HD channels, Sky Sports HD 1 and Sky Sports HD 2, and all Sky Movies HD channels. Virgin Media will make available through its on-demand TV service a range of content from Sky's basic and premium channels, including the newly acquired VMtv channels. Virgin Media will also have access to red button interactive sports coverage and the opportunity to deliver selected standard definition programming over the internet. Sky will assume responsibility for selling advertising for the newly acquired VMtv channels from January 2011. Completion of the agreements was conditional on obtaining merger control clearance in the Republic of Ireland.

Virgin1 was also a part of the deal but was rebranded as Channel One on 3 September 2010, as the Virgin name was not licensed to Sky. The new carriage deals are understood to be for up to nine years. Previously the carriage deals tended to be struck every three years.

On 29 June 2010, The Competition Authority
Competition Authority (Ireland)
The Competition Authority is the statutory body responsible for regulating competition in the Republic of Ireland. The authority was established under the Section 10 of the to assume the functions of the defunct Fair Trade Commission. The changed the authority from an office of the Department of...

 in Ireland cleared the proposed transaction. The parties proceeded after the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation did not direct the Authority to carry out a full investigation within 10 days of the date of the Authority’s decision.

On 13 July 2010, British Sky Broadcasting and Virgin Media announced that Sky has completed the acquisition of Virgin Media Television (VMtv) following regulatory approval in the Republic of Ireland. VMtv was then re-named the Living TV Group. In completing the acquisition, Sky has paid Virgin Media an initial £105 million. Up to an additional £55 million will be paid on UK regulatory clearance.

On 20 July 2010, The Office of Fair Trading
Office of Fair Trading
The Office of Fair Trading is a not-for-profit and non-ministerial government department of the United Kingdom, established by the Fair Trading Act 1973, which enforces both consumer protection and competition law, acting as the UK's economic regulator...

 announced that they would review BSkyB's acquisition of the Virgin Media Television business to judge whether it posed any competition concerns in the UK. The OFT planned to investigate the deal to see whether it could constitute a qualifying merger under the Enterprise Act 2002
Enterprise Act 2002
The Enterprise Act 2002 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which made major changes to UK competition law with respect to mergers and also changed the law governing insolvency bankruptcy.-Structure:*Part 1 The Office of Fair Trading...

. The watchdog invited interested parties from the industry to comment on the sale, including its potential impact on the pay-TV market. On 14 September 2010, The OFT decided not to refer BSkyB's takeover of Virgin Media's TV channels to the Competition Commission
Competition Commission
The Competition Commission is a non-departmental public body responsible for investigating mergers, markets and other enquiries related to regulated industries under competition law in the United Kingdom...

.

See also

  • Sky Broadband
    Sky Broadband
    Sky Broadband is an internet service provider for Sky customers.As of March 2008 Sky claims to have reached 1.428 million customers, and unbundled 1,179 exchanges, covering 70% of the United Kingdom. In October 2007, Sky reached the 1 million mark in terms of customer numbers, and claim to be...

  • Sky Magazine
    Sky Magazine
    Sky Magazine is the magazine distributed to subscribers of the BSkyB satellite service Sky Digital.- Availability :The magazine is available to subscribers of the Variety Pack or all packs of entertainment.- Content :...

  • SES Astra
    SES Astra
    Astra is the name for the geostationary communication satellites, both individually and as a group, which are owned and operated by SES S.A., a global satellite operator based in Betzdorf, in eastern Luxembourg. The name is sometimes also used to describe the channels broadcasting from these...

  • Team Sky
    Team Sky
    Team Sky is a British professional road bicycle racing team that competes in international road bicycle races. The creation of the team was announced on 26 February 2009 and the team began competition in January 2010....

  • Sky Betting and Gaming
    Sky Betting and Gaming
    Sky Betting and Gaming is a British-based gambling company, and a subsidiary of BSkyB, with offices at Sky's headquarters in Isleworth, London and in Leeds, West Yorkshire. The company consists chiefly of five websites and two TV channels...


External links