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BSkyB rebrands as Euro merger completes

BSkyB has completed the takeovers of its European pay TV cousins, and subsequently rebranded its corporate identity.

Jeremy Darroch croppedThe UK-based satellite TV giant company will now be known simply as Sky after dropping the full title British Sky Broadcasting, and its stock exchange ticker will change to SKY from BSY tomorrow as a result.

Sky has now completed the 100% acquisition of Sky Italia and the 87.5% takeover of Sky Deutschland. Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch (left) will oversee the enlarged group as well as operations in the UK and Ireland, with Andrea Zappia (right) remaining at the helm of Sky Italia and Brian Sullivan (below left) staying as CEO of Sky Deutschland.

The combined cost of the two deals have cost 21st Century Fox-backed Sky around £7 billion (US$11 billion), but means it now operates the largest pay TV operation in Andrea ZappiaEurope.

Further to this, Sky claims it is now Europe’s largest investor in television content with a combined annual programming spend of £4.6 billion.

The new business will target to the estimated 60 million homes across the territories its operates in that do not yet have pay TV.

“We have the opportunity to create a business that can lead and shape our industry in the future,” said Darroch. “Customers will benefit as we launch exciting new Brian-Sullivan-Sky-Deutschlandservices, bring them even more great TV and accelerate innovation across all of the markets in which we operate.”

His sentiment has not been shared by all, however. In August, Channel 4 CEO David Abraham questioned the deal in the context of market moves of its 39.1% lead investor Fox, while Sky Deutschland shareholder Crispin Odey claimed the German deal was undervalued, though he later decided to sell.