Sky News could be sold to smooth BSkyB takeover
Published: 11.11 UTC, January 20, 2011 by Julian Clover
News Corp has told the government that it is prepared to sell Sky News in a bid to reduce the amount of time spent on a review of its proposed takeover of BSkyB.
The Financial Times reported the proposed concession, citing three separate sources involved in the talks between News Corp and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
By shortening the length of time spent on the review, News Corp could potentially save on the performance of BSkyB driving up the price of the acquisition of the 61% it doesn’t already own even further.
Loss-making Sky News has in its 22 year history been presented as the acceptable face of BSkyB, in the early days of the platform emphasising that the satcaster was about more than US imports.
Should Sky News be put up for sale the question would then turn to who might buy the award-winning channel? One possibility is ITN, the ITV news provider, with whom it recently emerged discussed a possible merger with Sky News in 2006.
CNN, CNBC and Bloomberg also have a sizeable presence, through have an international brief, as opposed to Sky’s domestic agenda.