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U.K. pay TV giant British Sky Broadcasting, or BSkyB, said early Thursday (London time) that it would change its name to Sky following the completion of the acquisitions of Sky Italia and a majority stake in Sky Deutschland late Wednesday.
It said the new name would “recognize the international scope of the business.” The name change is subject to shareholder approval at the company’s annual meeting on Nov. 21.
It also touted the combined company’s programming spending, saying it was now “Europe’s leading investor in television content” with a combined program budget of $7.3 billion (£4.6 billion) and “Europe’s leading entertainment company.”
Read more BSkyB CEO Discusses HBO Relationship, Netflix
It said the enlarged group will serve 20 million customers across five countries: Italy, Germany, Austria, the U.K. and Ireland. It will also be one of the largest employers in the sector, with 31,000 staff members across 30 main sites, according to the firm.
CEO Jeremy Darroch will oversee the enlarged group and also continue to lead the U.K. and Ireland business. BSkyB CFO Andrew Griffith will continue to oversee the financials of the merged group. The company also confirmed that Andrea Zappia would continue to lead Sky Italia as that business’ CEO, while Brian Sullivan would remain CEO of Sky Deutschland.
“By bringing together the three businesses, Sky will share strengths and expertise from across the group to serve customers better, accelerate innovation and grow faster,” the company said. “The new Sky will be built on a shared ethos of always pushing forward to provide customers with more choice, better content and a superior TV experience.”
Highlighting the potential for future growth, Sky said that more than 60 million households have yet to subscribe to pay TV across its five markets.
Read more BSkyB Grows Earnings, Subscribers in Latest Quarter
Said Darroch: “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.”
He added: “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.”
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