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Last Updated: Monday, 17 October 2005, 07:49 GMT 08:49 UK
Easynet rises on BSkyB bid hopes
Woman looking at computer screen
Analysts predict TV will be watched via computers in the future
Shares in broadband internet provider Easynet have risen on hopes that satellite television broadcaster BSkyB will bid for the company.

The speculation follows BSkyB's announcement on Friday that it aims to go on an acquisition spree after raising 1bn ($1.8bn) in a bonds issue.

Easynet confirmed that it had received a bid but refused to name the source.

A takeover of Easynet would help BSkyB move towards broadcasting some of its programmes via the internet.

Sky intends to continue to set the pace of change in media content and distribution
Sky spokesman

Shares in Easynet were up 20% to 116p in early trading on the London stock exchange, following a 10% increase on Friday.

Analysts say that Easynet could be valued at around 150m, implying a share price offer of 130p.

Computer TV

BSkyB told the BBC on Sunday it could not comment on the speculation.

However, a spokesman hinted the company was looking at other ways of connecting with its viewers.

"Sky intends to continue to set the pace of change in media content and distribution," he said.

Many analysts predict that in the future most TV will be watched via computers.

Instead of programmes being received via a traditional TV aerial, satellite dish or cable connection, they will instead be sent via broadband internet.

Easynet has which has its own equipment in 250 local BT exchanges, giving it direct access to 4.4 million homes and 850,000 businesses in the UK, mainly in the bigger metropolitan areas.

Recently the two leading cable operators in the UK, Telewest and NTL, announced merger plans.

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