How Sky News sell-off could come about

While some have said News Corporation’s offer to sell Sky News, as part of a deal to allow it to take control of BSkyB, is a non-starter (it loses £30m a year) Robert Peston, the BBC’s business editor, has a neat explanation of how this could in fact come to pass.

BSkyB would simply he writes have to guarantee to take output from Sky News for a number of years — probably ten. That way Sky News is far more likely to attract interested buyers, media or otherwise.

“This [selling Sky News] is more easily do-able than I may have initially thought. British Sky Broadcasting would – I am told – simply have to guarantee to buy Sky News’s output for a very long time, probably a minimum of 10 years.

“With that guaranteed income stream, which would have to be sufficient to cover Sky News’s costs, there would probably be quite a few potential buyers of Sky News, both media industry buyers and financial buyers.

“But there is an important wrinkle here about the timetable for such a disposal or spin-off of Sky News that the culture secretary might demand.”

Read the rest of Peston’s post

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