Sky adds TV subscribers as bid battle intensifies

21st Century Fox bid £11.4 billion for the part of Sky it is yet to own nearly 18 months ago. (AFP)
Updated 19 April 2018
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Sky adds TV subscribers as bid battle intensifies

LONDON: Sky, the pan-European TV giant, said Thursday that it had added 38,000 customers in its third quarter as a takeover battle for the group intensified.
Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox is hoping to buy the 61 percent of Sky it does not own but the long-running battle has been held up by competition concerns over media plurality and broadcasting standards in Britain.
Amid the delay, US cable giant Comcast has offered more than £22 billion for all of Sky, trumping Fox’s bid on a price-per-share basis.
In a further twist, Disney is hoping to buy Fox for $52.4 billion — a deal that would see British government concerns over Murdoch’s far-reaching media control in Britain fall away.
Awaiting developments in the takeover saga, Sky on Thursday added that its revenue climbed 5.0 percent to £10.14 billion in the first nine months of its 2017-18 financial year that runs to the end of June.
“In media terms, Sky is currently the belle of the ball, attracting overseas suitors aplenty. This update is another vindication of the interest being shown,” noted Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor.
Earlier this month, 21st Century Fox proposed selling rolling TV channel Sky News to Disney in order to finally seal control of Sky.
Nearly 18 months ago, 21st Century Fox bid £11.4 billion for the part of Sky it is yet to own.
The Fox bid, pitched at £10.75 per Sky share, is significantly lower than the Comcast offer of £12.50.
But earlier this year, Britain’s Competitions and Markets Authority provisionally ruled that Murdoch’s planned takeover was not in the public interest and that a deal would hand him too much power in swaying public opinion.
Murdoch owns also major British newspaper titles The Times and The Sun.
To counter the regulatory obstacle, 21st Century Fox has proposed to sell Sky News to Disney even if the latter does not buy Fox.
Another option put up by Fox is to ring-fence Sky News.


Asian Cup Media Committee hits out at BeIN Sports presenter over political comments

Updated 17 January 2019
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Asian Cup Media Committee hits out at BeIN Sports presenter over political comments

  • BeIN Sports presenter denounced for talking about politics during the Iran-Iraq clash.
  • Asian Cup Media Committee call on AFC to take appropriate action to separate politics from sports.

LONDON: The Asian Cup Media Committee has denounced the behavior of a beIN Sports presenter during Wednesday’s Group D clash between Iraq and Iran for bringing politics into sports while also commenting on Thursday’s Saudi Arabia-Qatar encounter.
Mentioning politics while broadcasting is against FIFA’s laws and regulations as well as the governing principles of the International Olympic Committee that prohibit misuse of sports for political purposes, the committee said.
The Committee disputed the presenter’s claims on the alleged absence of Qatari fans during the championship, citing the Qatari media delegation’s statements to AFP that the Qatari official delegation did not encounter any problems or obstacles during the championship.
In addition to that the committee also cited the Asian Football Confederation’s statements that showed up the Qatari channel presenter’s allegations of on the absence of Qatari fans as false.
The Committee affirmed that all efforts were being made during the championship to ensure the smooth attendance of fans supporting their national teams at the tournament taking place across the UAE.
The Committee called on the AFC to take appropriate action to separate politics from sports, affirming that it reserved the right to take all necessary legal action in collaboration with authorities concerned against the channel and its presenter.