Sky deal may flag digital broadcasts of Formula One
Thursday 11 July 1996
The discussions are the first fruit of BSkyB's high-profile alliance with Kirch Group, which plans to launch a Formula One service in Germany and other European countries next month, as part of a deal negotiated before BSkyB agreed this week to help fund the launch of Kirch's digital television platform in Germany.
If successful, the negotiations would see Formula One broadcasts on BSkyB's planned UK digital service, with up to six channels offering different camera angles - from the pit, the grandstand and the dashboards of leading drivers.
Meanwhile, Kirch yesterday confirmed that it intended to seal the alliance with Mr Murdoch by taking an equity stake in BSkyB. Speculation grew that it could approach BSB Holdings, the rump of former shareholders in British Satellite Broadcasting, which merged with Sky Television in 1990.
BSBH, which holds a 17 per cent stake in BSkyB, groups Pearson, Granada, Pathe and a handful of smaller shareholders.
However, Granada has already made it clear that it does not intend to sell its shareholding, which totals about 11 per cent of BSkyB, and is likely to spurn any approach from Kirch.
Other options believed to be under consideration at Kirch include an equity swap between Rupert Murdoch, BSkyB's 40 per cent owner, and Telepiu, the Italian pay-TV company in which Kirch holds 35 per cent, or even a direct sale by Mr Murdoch of part of his stake.
A new issue of shares, to help fund the roll-out of digital television in the UK, could also give Mr Kirch an opportunity to take a position.
News of Mr Kirch's intentions sent BSkyB's shares 5p higher to close at 473p, valuing the company at just over pounds 8bn. The shares had risen 14p on Tuesday, on news that BSkyB would take an equity stake of up to 49 per cent in Kirch's German digital television company.
The swirling rumours surrounding the Kirch-BSkyB relationship helped fuel talk of further jockeying in the pay-TV market in Europe.
Bertelsmann, now a pay-TV rival, had been blamed by Mr Murdoch for the collapse of an earlier pan-European alliance that also included Havas and Canal Plus, the French digital television market leader. Bertelsmann has vowed to continue to develop its digital plans, in league with CLT, the Luxembourg broadcaster whose television subsidiary was recently merged with Bertelsmann's own television operations.
That leaves Canal Plus without a partner, and industry sources predicted last night that the French group could join the Murdoch-Kirch alliance. "If both alliances press ahead, there is going to be a bloodbath," Anthony de Larrinaga, analyst at Panmure Gordon, said.
- 1 Reader dilemma: 'My boyfriend jokes about putting photos of us having sex on Facebook'
- 3 Ralkina Jones: 37-year-old black woman found dead in police custody
- 4 Kanye West praises Caitlyn Jenner on I Am Cait: 'You couldn't have been up against more'
- 5 Five-year-old boy forced classmate to simulate oral sex at primary school, claims mother
Mystery over deaths of 3,000 Napoleonic soldiers in mass grave has been solved
Global Peace Index: Ukraine tops list of countries with the worst relations with neighbours
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, 71, still enjoys 'an early morning joint' for breakfast
Denmark bans kosher and halal slaughter as minister says ‘animal rights come before religion’
The 9 charts that show the 'left-wing' policies of Jeremy Corbyn the public actually agrees with
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
The last thing Labour needs is a leader like Jeremy Corbyn who people want to vote for
What the Labour party could look like under Jeremy Corbyn
I am the Jeremy Corbyn supporter that many will tell you doesn't exist
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
iJobs Money & Business
£18000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing Insurance Bro...
£40 - 45k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Research Associate / Research Anal...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Finance Accountant - Fin...
£90000 - £98000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A truly exciting opportu...