COMCAST secures takeover of SKY

By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw

On 9 October 2018, the takeover of SKY, the European Pay-TV Group, by the US Cable Company, COMCAST, became unconditional in this long-running corporate battle.

COMCAST announced that it held almost 77% of SKY shares, thus making its takeover wholly unconditional.

Last month, COMPAST had outbid Twenty-First Century Fox in an unusual auction, demanded by the UK Takeover Panel, to acquire SKY for a US$ 40 billion price tag, thus defeating the ambitions of Rupert Murdoch to control SKY completely.

Chairman and CEO of COMCAST, Brian L Roberts, told the world’s media that:

“Our combined global leadership in technology and content paves the way for us to accelerate investment and growth in SKY’s brand and premier platforms.”

Perhaps the jewel in the SKY crown for COMCAST is the ownership of major TV rights to the English Premier League matches.

Responding to a demand by Jeremy Wright, the Secretary of State at the UK Department of Digital Culture Media and Sport, to preserve the independence and impartiality of SKY News, Roberts added as follows:

“We are also fully committed to ensuring SKY News’ future, maintaining its editorial independence, and preserving its strong track record for trusted, high quality, impartial news.”

Rupert Murdoch is probably a very disappointed man after three decades at SKY!

Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘ian.blackshaw@orange.fr’