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murdochs big match Wednesday, 7 April, 1999, 08:58 GMT 09:58 UK
BSkyB makes promises on Man Utd
TV camera at match
Lucrative TV match rights hang on MMC decision
The satellite broadcaster BSkyB is reported to have offered to exclude Manchester United from any talks on television rights as it seeks to persuade the UK Government to clear its takeover of the club.

Murdoch's big match
According to the Financial Times, a letter has been sent to the Trade and Industry Secretary Stephen Byers stating BSkyB would stick to an agreement which prevented it from using confidential bidding information from any broadcasting negotiations.

The broadcaster is currently awaiting the findings of a report by the UK competition regulatory body, the Monopolies and Mergers Commission, which has investigated the implications of BSkyB's 623m bid for the club.

Investigation completed

murdoch press conference
Murdoch: Making a big play
It is understood the MMC's report was submitted three weeks ago and the trade secretary may announce his decision before Tuesday.

There has been much speculation about the outcome of the bid with some reports claiming the deal will be blocked because of concerns about what this could mean for broadcasting rights. BSkyB currently broadcasts Premier League football live and could soon own the largest club in Europe.

The company is thought to have given additional assurances that it would not inititiate a breakaway league from the premiership.

BSkyB's letter

BSkyB is said to have written to Mr Byers following reports that ministers were concerned about the issue of confidential bidding information in any television deals.

The broadcaster is thought to have given guarantees that it would not abuse its position, indeed it would exclude itself from any Premier League talks on television rights.

See also:

12 Mar 99 | The Company File
17 Mar 99 | The Company File
09 Apr 99 | murdochs big match
17 Mar 99 | murdochs big match
Links to more murdochs big match stories are at the foot of the page.


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