BSkyB has built a strong position in the UK media market to become the largest pay-TV provider in the country with 10.5m subscribers. Football is at the heart of its empire, but recent investments suggest it may be looking more at expanding its other divisions.
Football has been key to BSkyB’s growth since its founding in 1990 by Rupert Murdoch, who described Sky’s sports provision as a “battering ram” to get pay-TV into UK households.
Following its victory in gaining the initial Premier League live broadcast right in the early 1990s for £304m, BSkyB pursued a range of bolt-ons to further strengthen its sports service, including the £96m acquisition in 2007 of 365 Media Group, owner of sports websites such as Football365.
BSkyB also took share interests at one point in a number of Premier League clubs, and tried to buy Manchester United for £623m in 1999 before the deal was blocked by the regulator.
However recently, there has been focus on some of its other divisions, as BSkyB has invested in a range of tech start-ups and advertising firms, such as Sharethrough, Jaunt, Luminari Capital, 1 Mainstream and Roku.
While BSkyB still has a big football offering, though facing strong competition from rival BT, it seems keen to seek growth opportunities from other divisions, including advertising which saw revenue rise seven per cent to £472m last year.