back to article Comcast offers £22bn to snatch Sky from Rupert Murdoch

US cable giant Comcast has put a rival offer of £22bn for Sky, in an attempt to snatch the company from the grasp of media tycoon Rupert Murdoch. That offer is several billion above the £18.5bn deal put forward by Murdoch's 21st Century Fox to buy the remaining 61 per cent of Sky, the UK and European broadcaster. Comcast …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Beware Comcast

    That's what my friends in the USA say.

    If you think that Sky is expensive then you ain't seen nothing yet.

    Escaping the Fire of Murdoch into Comcast Hell perhaps?

    This is one time where I am on the side of 'old wrinkly' (shudder)

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Beware Comcast

      I gave up on Sky in 2001. I haven't had any pay TV since then.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Beware Comcast

        Dont worry, as soon as/if an oligopoly is firmly in place you will have tv and POTS, if you want internet.

        So we go from a mix of uk/us/eu companies to mostly us companies, great....

    2. Camilla Smythe

      Re: Beware Comcast

      I see the Stock Market wankers are spunking cum all over it.

      Yeah, fuck all of them. Do we complain to the usual Chocolate Teapot at...

      General Enquiries <General.Enquiries@cma.gsi.gov.uk>

    3. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Beware Comcast

      Having worked at Sky for several years and enjoyed the free full package I must say that it was one of the more pleasant working experiences of my life. I hope that Comcast continues with the benefits (and the awesome 24 hour full breakfast restaurants) but sadly I think that they will only see the CBA results ...

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

    5. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: Beware Comcast

      I've got Comcast in the USA and actually they have very very good customer service. They don't bat an eyelid when we only need service for 4-6 months of the year. None of the 12months minimum term sky tried to sign me up to. If they do steal Sky from poor old Rupert I won't be shedding a tear. The last time I ventured out to my local shopping centre I was asked by the Sky rep if I would like SkyQ.

      I asked him about it and midway through the conversation I said this sounds quite good. He'd mentioned the ability to save things to a tablet and watch them later on which did sound interesting. So I enquired as to the requirements for this system and whether it beat my existing set up. At the moment I can record the transport stream of the FTA channel/programme that I want to watch onto a hard drive. From that I load whatever programmes I want to watch whilst away onto a 128Gb memory stick or two and then take them with me on a business trip and watch using VLC. Each hour of BBC1 HD is something like 2GB and the rest varies depending on channel.

      Sadly that's not possible with Sky, I'd need the sky app and only certain things are available not everything can be stored on the tablet and it must be the tablet and not on a removable drive etc. You can't use Miracast to watch on the big screen etc. The content "may" he wasn't too sure on this be (I now believe it is) compressed before being uploaded to your tablet. This applies to FTA stuff too so includes BBC content which sucks. Then he hit me with the price and my gast was a little flabbered to he honest. The cheapest option was £22/month with the obligatory if you want to download content Multiroom Subscription of £12 so ~£400 a year. The next best package is £32 (+£12MR) so £500/year. If I wanted the 2TB box that's another £200 on top of those figures as a set up fee.

      My response was that for those costs I wouldn't be bothering. Sales bloke said that he didn't think my setup would work because what was recorded would be encrypted by the TV/recorder and wouldn't therefore be viewable on my tablet. Would I like to look again at Sky Q? No, I pulled out my tablet, OTG cable and memory stick and gave him a demonstration of somethings recorded the previous evening. I left him impressed with my set up but disappointed that I wasn't keen to shell out £700 on Sky.

      I said I'll take Sky when I can use my equipment to receive your services and not before.

  2. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Apart from the Sports packages (If your into Sport) I fail to see anything worth paying for on Sky compared to what you could get with Freeview / Freesat and a Netflix subscription instead.

    Thankfully the few Sports I do watch are available on Freeview atm, Snooker and the F1.

    1. wolfetone

      "Thankfully the few Sports I do watch are available on Freeview atm, Snooker and the F1."

      I find the Channel 4 coverage to be far better than on Sky, and like you I don't pay for Sky. But I've no idea what to do when F1 goes to Sky full time next year.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        But I've no idea what to do when F1 goes to Sky full time next year.

        Put a bag of angry wasps over your head?

      2. King Jack

        No idea what to do when F1 goes to Sky full time next year

        Don't subscribe, don't feed the beast. If enough people grow a spine and resist F1 will be back in a few years.

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: No idea what to do when F1 goes to Sky full time next year

          RTL Germany is FTA

      3. Mage Silver badge

        when F1 goes to Sky full time?

        Buy a scalextrix? Maybe though that's USA racing. Rally driving seems more interesting to me. But I appreciate the pain of people wanting Premiership football (might soon need 3 or 4 subs in some places) or F1.

        Perhaps if no-one subscribed, it would end up FTA on BBC/ITV/C4?

      4. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: But I've no idea what to do when F1 goes to Sky full time next year?

        Cheer? (as it dies a death in the UK)

        Have a Beer?

      5. JimboSmith Silver badge

        Get a dish pointing at 19.2East and watch it on German TV with 5live as commentary. You will need to have a DAB radio or a delay box as otherwise the commentary is ahead of the pictures but I have never paid Sky.

    2. Mage Silver badge
      Pirate

      Pay TV & Subscriptions.

      As I don't watch the Pay "sports" and little sport at all, I don't any longer subscribe to anything except Internet provider.

      PAYG phone credit.

      Amazon Prime/Subs cheat book authors.

      Streaming music cheats musicians.

      All subscriptions make excess profit and cheat consumer due to renewal is usually automatic and novelty wears off. Consumer pays more than simply BUYING the content they really want (which also doesn't depend on a dish, cable TV or broadband connection. Or fragile cloud servers.

      I'll buy the CDs/DVDs/BDs/Books I actually want. If I buy an eBook, I'll make sure it doesn't need a server to authorise it and I'll back it up.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Pay TV & Subscriptions.

        I actually want. If I buy an eBook, I'll make sure it doesn't need a server to authorise it and I'll back it up.

        I use Epubor Ultimate to strip DRM so that my books are not tied to a single account or provider. For instance, my girlfriend got my Kobo Glo to see how she got on with E-Books when I got my FUCKING AWESOME Kobo Aura One and bought some books for her on my account. If she set up her account, she couldn't read them any more.

        Publishers also profit because it's easier for me to proofread and send corrections once the DRM has been removed.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Pay TV & Subscriptions.

        And copyright cheats consumers, see:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcvd5JZkUXY

        and

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeTybKL1pM4

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I fail to see anything worth paying for on Sky compared to what you could get with Freeview / Freesat and a Netflix subscription instead."

      Or KODI / an IPTV sub.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder how many kittens and puppies Rupert slaughtered after hearing this news. I wouldn't want to be in the devils shoes right now.

    1. TheVogon Silver badge

      "I wonder how many kittens and puppies Rupert slaughtered after hearing this news. I wouldn't want to be in the devils shoes right now."

      Yes, he must feel like jumping overboard...

  4. Mage Silver badge
    Pirate

    UK competition regulator is less keen on Rupe getting his hands on the remaining 61 per cent stake

    Idiotic. They missed the bit where Murdoch has been CONTROLLING Sky for years. The Murdoch bid is because he thinks he'll get more profits, not more control.

    The various UK competition regulators have often looked at the wrong aspect of take overs for maybe 60 years. They made Ever Ready ripe for asset stripping by Hanson by blocking their take over of Mallory (rebranded Duracell). The husk of the brand bought after stripping by US Eveready (now Energiser and owned by a pet food company).

    Yet strategic UK assets often thrown to the wolves abroad.

    How did so many UK / Ireland newspapers & some radio stations end up being controlled by an Australian that bought US citizenship so as to be able to buy USA media?

    Look at what happened to two Italian Pay TV companies. Search card piracy, who funded it and who bought/controlled the wreckage.

    Dishonest Sky take over of BSB and also 28.2E satellite spot (intended for Central Europe).

    It's irrelevant now what Competition Regulator thinks of Murdoch's takeover, damage long done to UK media.

    Comcast isn't much liked by USA customers. Replacing a rapacious controller with a USA company?

    Also while Irish takeover of Chorus and NTL cable was by UPC, (Sort of Dutch flavoured, Tulip logo, big in Europe) who then took over Virgin Media, is the renting of the name Virgin for UK and Ireland to hide the fact from ordinary consumer that it's actually Liberty Global / Liberty Media, another rapacious USA company?

    ~

    The USA rarely cares about consumers or Corporate Control.

    Disney: Fox, Muppets, Starwars, Pixar and more.

    I've lost track of what MS, Google and Apple have taken over.

    Facebook assurances about customer privacy on their takeovers proved worthless.

    Amazon: IMDB, Abe Books, Book Depositary, CreateSpace, Mobi and many more.

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: P.S. Irish & UK competition regulator

      Why was UPC/Virgin allowed to buy TV3 channels?

      Why is a subscription platform (Sky) allowed to OWN any channels at all?

      Why are Skyboxes only able to take Sky Pay TV cards?

      Why can you only download Amazon eBooks in UK & Ireland from Amazon UK (Sterling).

      Why though you can install Kindle App on phone/tablet/laptop, NO competitor's eBook reader can read Amazon eBooks that have DRM?

      Why does the Kindle (which is bought outright) not accept ePubs, not even DRM free?

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: P.S. Irish & UK competition regulator

        NO competitor's eBook reader can read Amazon eBooks that have DRM?

        Not entirely true..

        <Cough> Calibre </cough>

        I hear from a friend that it does a proper job of de-DRMing the Kindle books he buys so that he can read them on his spiffy Kobo HD Aura.

        1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

          Re: P.S. Irish & UK competition regulator

          I think he means cannot "not breaking the law".

          https://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/03/28/government_tweaks_uk_copyright_law/

          There are many many ways of doing it otherwise.

          Also, why do they limit netfllix to non HDR 1080p on PC unless you hve very specific hw? It is easier to me to download illegal content than to pay for it!! I do pay, but it is VERY stupid.

        2. Jay 2

          Re: P.S. Irish & UK competition regulator

          Similarly in reverse I sometimes buy eBooks from Kobo, which are in EPUB format. In order to read them on my suitably old and creaky Kindle (which is MOBI or AZW only) then I load them into Calibre, strip the DRM out and convert them to MOBI. Somewhat annoying that I have to hoist the skull and crossbones flag etc in order to consume a legally purchased item.

          Historically I've avoided buying from the Kindle store as the eBooks were locked to the Amazon account used to purchased them and were infested with DRM. Ironically I prefer to buy music from Amazon as it's in MP3, though it's been quite a while since Apple's AAC (or whatever it is) had DRM.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So the choice is either dog shit or pig shit to take over.

    1. paulf Silver badge
      Coat

      Which is which?

  6. EnviableOne Bronze badge

    "We have provisionally found that if the Fox/Sky merger went ahead as proposed, it would be against the public interest. It would result in the Murdoch family having too much control over news providers in the UK, and too much influence over public opinion and the political agenda."

    doesn't a Murdoch Run SKY anyway .... (the chief executive officer (CEO) of 21st Century Fox, and chairman of Sky plc.)

    anyway, They've already agreed to sell the lot to disney!

    Got a feeling this is just to put a spanner in the Disney deal so they can leverage Warner Cable out of Fox

  7. RobertLongshaft

    Is this satire?

    ""Media plurality goes to the heart of our democratic process. It is very important that no group or individual should have too much control of our news media or too much power to affect the political agenda."

    I challenge anyone to watch 1 hour of BBC news, ITV news, Channel 4 news and Sky news and show me where there is a difference of opinion.

    The political agenda is clear and broadcast daily on your "independent" news broadcasts.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I's all a charade by the big boys

    The main drivers of this dealmakings are the Wall street & Square mile muggers, who want a big slice of the commissions and kickbacks out of this. People in the know have already made a killing by the 20% jump in share prices of Sky via the nudge nudge, wink wink delivered by the Comcast camp. Its all about the money, and customers be damned.

    Once its all over, I can bet my last dollar that there will be a price rise within 2 months of the high profile and expensive takeover. They will have to show some return on investments, isnt it? To the same Wall street muggers. And programming will go further downhill from the abysmal levels we already endure. And pathetic adverts will go up in volumes too.

    Just look at Virgin takeover by Liberty Media. How many price rises have been inflicted on the subscribers? At least 8 times, from memory.

    I think its the Brit's blind love of fussbol that makes this possible.

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