BSkyB forced out of ITV 

29 January 2008

It can’t have come as much of a surprise that BSkyB have been instructed to reduce their stake in ITV plc from 17.9% to at most 7.5%. Nay, not even to BSkyB itself. So much so, that there’s almost nothing to comment on because it’s been done many times before.

The move could cost BSkyB £250m thanks to ITV plc’s share price dropping by nearly half.

Whether BSkyB really wanted ITV plc as an investment, or with their eyes on a takeover in the future, we’ll never know. Nor will we know what a combined ITV/NTL would have been like – NTL’s takeover talks were effectively stopped by the BSkyB stake and with the subsequent changes in management at the now rebranded Virgin Media, they’re unlikely to be resumed.

Like the proposed merger between Channel 4 and Five (remember that?!), a hook-up between ITV and BSkyB or Virgin Media, is something we can only wonder about for ever more.

A member of the Transdiffusion Broadcasting System
Liverpool, Friday 13 May 2022