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British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc history, profile and corporate video

British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc is a channel provider, a distributor of television services and a direct-to-home satellite platform service provider. It commissions and acquires programming to broadcast on its own channels and supply certain of those channels on a wholesale basis to third party operators for retransmission to their subscribers in the UK and Ireland. The company also offers broadband and telephony services, as well as a range of other services, including variants of video on demand via the set-top box and online, games via both interactive TV and the Internet, and betting and gaming services via TV, telephone and the Internet. British Sky Broadcasting’s other businesses include Sky Business, Sky Media, Sky Betting and Gaming, 365 Media Group and Amstrad. The Sky Business offers services to the commercial customers, including pubs and clubs, hotels and offices. The Sky Media offers advertisers the opportunity to connect with viewers on channels from Sky and other broadcasters including Discovery, Hallmark, National Geographic, FX and SCI FI. The Sky Betting and Gaming offers a range of betting and gaming services via the internet, phone and interactive TV. Its products include Sky Bet, Sky Poker, Sky Vegas and Sky Bingo. The 365 Media Group operates a portfolio of leading online sports brands. The Amstrad designs, develops and manufactures set-top boxes for BSkyB and Sky Italia. British Sky Broadcasting Group was founded on April 25, 1988 and is headquartered in Middlesex, the United Kingdom.

“British Sky Broadcasting History

Further information: Sky Television plc and British Satellite Broadcasting

British Sky Broadcasting was formed by the merger of Sky Television and British Satellite Broadcasting on 2 November 1990. Both companies had begun to struggle financially and were both suffering financial losses as both competed against each other for viewers. The Guardian later characterized the merger as ‘effectively a takeover by News Corporation’.

The merger was investigated by Office of Fair Trading but was cleared a month later since many of the represented views were more concerned about contractual arrangements which had nothing to do with competition. The Independent Broadcasting Authority was not consulted about the deal; after approval, the IBA demanded precise details about the merger, stated they were considering the repercussions of the deal to ultimately determine whether BSB contracts were null and void. On 17 November, the IBA decided to terminate BSB’s contract, but not immediately, as it was deemed unfair to 120,000 viewers who had bought BSB devices.

Sam Chisholm was appointed CEO in a bid to reorganize the new company, which, continued to make losses of £10 million per week. The defunct BSB’s HQ, Marco Polo House were sold off, 39% of the new company’s employees were made redundant to leave just under 1000 employees, many of the new senior BSkyB executive roles were given to Sky personnel with many BSB leaving the company. In April the nine Sky/BSB channels had been condensed into five, with EuroSport being dropped soon after the Sky Sports launch. Chisholm also renegotiated the merged company’s expensive deals with the Hollywood studios, slashing the minimum guaranteed payments. The defunctMarcopolo I satellite was sold off in December 1993 to Sweden’s NSAB, and Marcopolo II went to Norway’s Telenor in July 1992 after the ITC was unable to find new companies to take over the BSB licences and compete with BSkyB. News International received 50%, Pearson PLC 17.5%, Chargeurs 17.5%, Granada 12%, Reed International 2% of the new shares in the company.

By September 1991, the weekly losses had been reduced to £1.5M a week, Rupert Murdoch said “there were strong financial marketing and political reason[s] for making the compromise merger instead of letting BSB die. Many of the lessons had been learnt with more than half the running cost of the combined company” Further cuts in losses were a direct result of 313,000 new customers joining during the first half of 1991 By March 1992, BSkyB posted its first operating profits, of £100,000 per week, with £3.8 million weekly from subscriptions and £1 million from advertising, but continued to be burdened with £1.28 billion of debt. James Capel forecast BSkyB would still be indebted in 2000.”

*Information from Forbes.com and Wikipedia.org

**Video published on YouTube by “CorporateVideosTV