British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) is to rebrand itself simply as Sky following after completing its acquisition of Sky Italia and a majority stake in Sky Deutschland to create an entertainment juggernaut serving 20m subscribers across Italy, Germany, Austria, the UK and Ireland.
The merged business will have a programme spend of £4.6bn, harnessing its 31,000 staff to invest on broadcast, online and mobile content – enabling it to target the 60m households who have yet to embrace pay TV within the five markets.
Group chief executive Jeremy Darroch will oversee the enlarged entity whilst continuing to manage the UK and Ireland business whilst Andrea Zappia will continue to lead the business in Italy as Chief Executive of Sky Italia and Brian Sullivan remains Chief Executive of Sky Deutschland AG.
Darroch said: “The three Sky businesses will be even better together. We have the opportunity to create a business that can lead and shape our industry in the future. Customers will benefit as we launch exciting new services, bring them even more great TV and accelerate innovation across all of the markets in which we operate.
“By joining together, we will share our strengths and expertise while retaining a strong identity in each country where we operate. The opportunity ahead is substantial and we believe the new Sky will be good for customers, content creators and shareholders alike.”
BSkyB’s name change remains subject to shareholder approval on 21 November.