Pay TV

Looking to Finance Time Warner Takeover, Murdoch Moves to Merge European TV Operations

Rupert Murdoch, moving ahead. Source: DPA.
Rupert Murdoch, moving ahead with the foundation of Sky Europe.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The Sky merger would provide Mr. Murdoch with much-needed cash to sweeten his bid for U.S. media giant Time Warner.

  • Facts


    • Deal creating a merged Sky Europe would free up more than €8 billion.
    • Sky Deutschland would become BSkyB subsidiary.
    • Pay TV in Germany considered a tough market
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With the summer holidays on in full force, news last week that Rupert Murdoch’s British pay TV unit BSkyB had sold its stake in U.K. broadcaster ITV for £481 million (€607 million) was barely noticed in the German media scene.

But now it seems the deal might have been just the prelude to merging the German and Italian units of Sky into a British holding company, as Mr. Murdoch appears to be moving around the pieces of his media empire in an effort to sweeten his bid for Time Warner.

A successful bid for Time Warner would not only give him another Hollywood studio, as Warner Bros. would join 20th Century Fox. It would also provide access to the highly coveted pay TV broadcaster HBO, which has created widely popular series including “The Sopranos” and “Sex in the City.”

Time Warner recently rejected an $80-billion takeover offer from Mr. Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, the holding company which includes Fox, 20th Century Fox, BSkyB, Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia.

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