NOVEMBER 12, 2014
Enlarged group will serve 20 million customers across five countries
LONDON — Pay TV operator Sky, formerly known as BSkyB, has created Europe’s leading entertainment company after completing the acquisition of Sky Italia and a majority interest in Sky Deutschland.
The enlarged group will serve 20 million customers across five countries: Italy, Germany, Austria, the U.K. and Ireland. It will also be one of the largest employers in the sector with 31,000 staff across 30 main sites.
The company will have a combined programming budget of £4.6 billion ($7.26 billion), which makes it Europe’s leading investor in TV shows. It has combined revenues of more than £11 billion ($17.4 billion) a year.
The potential for growth is huge: more than 60 million households have yet to take pay TV across the five markets in which Sky operates.
The company is changing its name from British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) to Sky to reflect the international scope of the company, and will be listed on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol SKY. The change of name is subject to shareholder approval at its AGM on Nov. 21.
BSkyB topper Jeremy Darroch will become Sky’s group chief executive, overseeing the enlarged group, as well as continuing to lead the business in the U.K. and Ireland. Andrew Griffith will be group chief financial officer. Andrea Zappia will continue to lead the business in Italy as chief executive of Sky Italia, and Brian Sullivan remains chief executive of Sky Deutschland.
Darroch commented in a statement: “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. 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.”
He added: “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.”