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Wednesday, 10 May, 2000, 11:56 GMT 12:56 UK
BSkyB buys Sports Internet
Sky Sports
BSkyB is consolidating its position in online sports
Satellite broadcaster BSkyB is buying Sports Internet Group in a 301m deal as part of its efforts to boost its online activities.

The all-share offer has been accepted by Sport Internet's board.

BSkyB, owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp and by France's Vivendi, is planning to combine Sport Internet's web sites with its own skysports.com.

It has secured Sport Internet's management to lead the site's development.

The acquisition also adds to BSkyB's current links with England's top football clubs and leagues.

Sports Internet owns the Planetfootball group, which runs a number of Premiership Clubs' websites. It also owns the Opta football statistics operation.

"The businesses and impressive management provide a terrific fit for Sky, and I have every confidence that we will continue to occupy a leading position in the broadband area," said Tony Ball, chief executive of BSkyB, referring to the next generation internet use which will allow high quality video online.

Third-quarter loss

The news came as BSkyB unveiled its third quarter financial results, revealing a pre-tax loss of 28.4m compared with a 16m profit a year earlier.

The change was blamed to the increased spending on products and attracting digital subscribers who have now reached 3.4 million.

"In the past 12 months, we have attracted an additional 2.3 million subscribers to the Sky digital platform, underlining what has been the fastest digital launch by any European platform," Mr Ball said.

BSkyB said digital subscribers accounted for two-thirds of its total number of subscribers.

The company also said it had attracted a record number of 190,000 subscribers in the third quarter, and had made more than 50,000 installations a week during the quarter.

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