News Corp talks down Sky offer

News Corp will look at alternative options if it can’t reach a “reasonable” deal for British pay TV operator BSkyB.

Last year, Rupert Murdoch’s media company offered 700p (€8) per share for the pay TV operator, however, its share price has now risen to 849p. 
News Corp chief operating officer Chase Carey told investors: “I want to reiterate one more time that we’ll be very disciplined about this process, and we will pursue other options with our capital if we can’t reach a reasonable deal.” 

This comes as New Corp announced a 24% drop in third quarter profits; the company reported a reduction in net income to US$639 million (€429 million) from US$839 million last year. However, it saw increased revenue growth of 21% at its international pay TV channels including Fox International Channels reflecting higher rates and subscriber numbers, particularly driven by growth in Latin America and Asia. 

Sky Italia, the company’s Italian pay TV arm, reported a fall in operating income from US$35 million to US$17 million. However, it did boost the number of the subscribers by 45,000 during the quarter, bringing its total base to 4.92 million. 

Chief executive Rupert Murdoch admitted that the quarter was “challenging” when set against last year’s record Avatar contribution. “Looking beyond our film business, I am delighted with the continued and significant operational momentum of our channels businesses, with their market-leading positions across the globe,” he added.