Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Monday, August 16, 1999 Published at 14:12 GMT 15:12 UK

Business: The Company File

Chelsea denies BSkyB approach

BSkyB wants more negotiating power in TV football

Chelsea Village - the company which owns Chelsea Football Club - has denied newspaper reports claiming it has been in talks with BSkyB over selling the satellite broadcaster a 9.9% stake for about £15m.

The reports said BSkyB was also chasing a similar stake in Leeds Sporting, which owns Leeds United FC - and the Leeds chairman, Peter Ridsdale, confirmed last week that he had been having talks with a number of media companies.

Shares in Chelsea Village rose on the rumours (up 7 pence to 88.5p at 1400 GMT), as did shares in Leeds Sporting (up 1.25p to 24.75p). However, BSkyB shares fell 10p to 577p.

If the deals were to go ahead, it is understood that BSkyB would have to reduce its 11.6% stake in treble-winners Manchester United to comply with Football Association rules.

[ image: Big summer signings include Didier Deschamps]
Big summer signings include Didier Deschamps
Rupert Murdoch's satellite TV company is keen to get itself in a strong position for negotiations on future broadcasting rights, especially in pay-per-view contracts.

The Trade and Industry Secretary, Stephen Byers, blocked a BSkyB bid for Manchester United in April, ruling that the biggest broadcaster should not own the dominant team, but the satellite broadcaster has merely changed its approach to gaining more influence in the game.

It is now concentrating on trying to build a portfolio of investments in leading English football clubs.

BSkyB already owns rights to broadcast live Premiership football in England. With a shareholding in a number of top English clubs, it would be in a strong position in any future negotiations.

European league

Last month, the TV and leisure group, Granada, agreeda deal to buy a 9.9% stake in Premiership club Liverpool, and other media groups have also been linked with football clubs.

On the Continent there is already pay-per-view coverage of matches, with media companies owning clubs such as AC Milan, Paris St Germain and Bordeaux.

With the continuing moves towards a European super league, UK media groups are determined to ensure they get a seat at the negotiating table.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

The Company File Contents

Relevant Stories

10 Aug 99 | The Company File
Granada and BSkyB target Leeds

28 Jul 99 | UK
Fans back TV football status quo

13 Jul 99 | The Economy
Broadcasters battle for football

09 Apr 99 | murdochs big match
Man Utd bid ruled offside

Internet Links

Chelsea Village

The FA Premiership

Sky Broadcasting

Leeds Sporting

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Microsoft trial mediator welcomed

Vodafone takeover battle heats up

Christmas turkey strike vote

NatWest bid timetable frozen

France faces EU action over electricity

Pace enters US cable heartland

Mannesmann fights back

Storehouse splits up Mothercare and Bhs

The rapid rise of Vodafone

The hidden shopping bills

Europe's top net stock

Safeway faces cash demand probe

Mitchell intervenes to help shipyard

New factory creates 500 jobs

Drugs company announces 300 jobs

BT speeds internet access

ICL creates 1,000 UK jobs

National Power splits in two

NTT to slash workforce

Scoot links up with Vivendi

New freedom for Post Office

Insolvent firms to get breathing space

Airtours profits jump 12%

Freeserve shares surge

LVMH buys UK auction house

Rover - a car firm's troubles