Global Showbiz Briefs: BSkyB Confirms Interest In Sky Deutschland & Sky Italia Stakes; Mark Slone Upped at eOne Films Canada; More

BSkyB Confirms Its Interest In Sky Deutschland & Sky Italia Stakes
Britain’s BSkyB on Monday acknowledged speculation over its potential acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s interests in European pay-TV groups Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia. Reports of talks had emerged over the weekend, and BSkyB today confirmed it had “initiated preliminary discussions with 21st Century Fox to evaluate the potential acquisition of its pay-TV assets in German and Italy. BSkyB believes at the right value, this combination would have the potential to create a world-class multinational pay-TV group.” Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox owns 39.1% of BSkyB, 57% of Sky Deutschland and 100% of Sky Italia. BSkyB shares were down 2.42% today, according to The Wall Street Journal, while shares in Sky Deutschland were up some 9.9%. There has lately been a trend toward consolidation across the European TV landscape, notably involving Murdoch frenemy John Malone. A combination of Murdoch’s businesses would have about 20M subscribers. Any deal surely would face serious regulatory scrutiny, but BSkyB was careful to say the talks had “not progressed beyond a preliminary stage.” There has been no agreement on “terms, value or transaction structure and there is no certainty that a transaction will occur.” It added that “all Board discussion of this topic is solely within a committee composed of the Independent Directors of BSkyB, in which Directors affiliated with 21st Century Fox do not participate.” For its part, 21st Century Fox said Monday, “Over the years we’ve had numerous internal discussions regarding the organizational and ownership structure of the European Sky-branded satellite platforms. From time to time these conversations have included BSkyB, however no agreement between the parties has ever been reached.” (more…)

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