Business Diary: BBC casts an envious eye at self-serving Sky?

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The Independent Online

Love it or loathe it, the one thing you can't criticise the BBC for is holding back when reporting stories concerning the corporation itself. Indeed, plenty of BBC execs have found themselves on the end of tongue-lashing from the likes of Jeremy Paxman or John Humphreys. Those execs must be wishing they worked for Sky, which has an entirely different method for reporting news about its owner, BSkyB. Great set of results, but did they really merit the extended soft-soap gushing report they received high up on Sky News this morning? Diary doesn't think the BBC would have been quite so self-reverential.

DFS minds the gap with adverts on the Tube

The furniture retailer DFS's TV ad campaign last year – featuring actors dancing around to the tune of "Rockstar" by Nickelback – drove some viewers to the point of despair. However, the retailer's advertising team seems to be on safer ground with its latest advertisements on the London Underground, which is congested with puns about stations close to its stores. For example: "You'd be Barking not to go"; "You'll find a whole lot Morden you think;" and "And best of all there's no Wapping price tag." Obviously, if the ads drive customers to its stores, DFS could be laughing all the way to the Bank. Sorry, couldn't resist that one...

Restructuring firms get expenses restructured

Insolvency firms have been raking in the loot on a series of administrations, but some appear to be "restructuring" their own spend. One insolvency practitioner (IP) told Diary that delegates were substantially down at the industry's Insol congress in Vancouver in June. Still, as plenty more companies are likely to hit the wall this year, IPs are set to enjoy the recession for a while yet.

ESPN takes on Sky with German car racing

Fresh from a Diary exclusive that ESPN, the US broadcaster, had secured the rights to Swiss and Belgian football for the UK pay-TV market, another missive has landed. The Disney-owned channel has now got the Ultimate Fighting Championship, French rugby, Australian Football League, the European Basketball Championships and Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters. Sky must be quaking in its boots.

Number of the day: 4638.9

The high point of the FTSE 100 index in 2009 which the market is poised to pass after a strong July. Yesterday, the FTSE 100 closed at 4631.6.