Satellite news 25.10.05


Sky Sports likely to buy 80% of football rights

Sky is to be allowed to buy the rights of more than 80% of Premier League football games, in a move that will delight the broadcaster and leave its competitors smarting. The European Commission, which is currently in talks with broadcasters about the forthcoming rights auction, has reportedly agreed that Premier League rights will be divided into six packages. Each package will comprise 23 games with no bidder allowed to buy all the packages. However, in theory, this will enable Sky to buy five of the six packages or 83% of the games, especially as the broadcaster is likely to outbid its rivals. Sky could be set to scoop five out of six packages, with the BBC, Five, ITV, NTL and Setanta Sports bidding for the remainder.

Sky Travel buys TV rights to Miss World contest

Sky Travel is to screen this year's Miss World contest in a special programme on Saturday December 10. The event was screened by ITV1 in an off-peak slot last year but it decided not to bid for the rights this year, citing ethical reasons as well as ratings for its decision.

BBC Three scraps nightly 7pm news bulletin

BBC Three has been given the go-ahead to discontinue its nightly 7 O'Clock News programme from December 2. Tessa Jowell, secretary of state for culture, media and sport, approved the change, which the BBC said would help the channel "increase value for money." The channel's 60-second news bulletins will continue. The decision comes after the publication of the Barwise Report last year and the BBC's own audience research, which showed the audience's news needs were being met in other ways.

Sky News gets makeover and new schedule

Sky News launched a brand new studio, logo and a revamp of its programme schedule on Monday October 24. It says that it will break more exclusive stories and challenge the traditional ITV and BBC evening news bulletins. Its new presenters, former GMTV host Eamonn Holmes, and James Rubin, the former chief US foreign affairs spokesman, have both appeared on the channel for the first time.

Multi-lingual interactive first for BBC One

A BBC One Real Story special on volunteer doctors from Britain trying to save lives in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in south-Asia will be broadcast simultaneously in the English language and Urdu via the red button interactive service. The programme, to be aired on October 26 at 7.30pm, will be broadcast in English but will be available at the same time in Urdu to all digital viewers. The Urdu language version is aimed at Britain's Pakistani and also other South Asian communities who might have a particular interest in the programme.

BBC Three commissions new shopping series

A third series of Spendaholics has been commissioned by BBC Three. The show features out-of-control shoppers who are separated from their credit cards and given ways to mend their extravagant ways. Filming of the six-part series will commence in November and the new series is tipped to be on air next spring.

Digital TV news in brief...

More4 +1 has started on Sky channel 286... The Community Channel has commissioned another series of interviews hosted by Channel 4 News anchor Jon Snow... Channel 4 has reportedly approached Sky News about the possibility of the news channel providing news content for its news bulletins... Spanish private TV station Antena 3 TV has beaten the state-owned channel TVE in the fight for the free-to-air rights to the UEFA champions League for the period 2006-2009.... Zip TV, an interactive TV advertising group is looking to launch its own channel on Sky after being awarded an Ofcom licence.

Sky buys Easynet broadband Internet provider

Sky has brought an end to weeks of speculation by confirming that it is moving into broadband with the Ł211m acquisition of network operator Easynet. The boards of both companies approved the deal, which, if accepted by shareholders, marks one of the most significant developments in Sky's history and a change in competition within the UK media sector. Sky's total offer for Easynet is 175p per share, valuing the company at Ł211m.

Regards Satdude.