FACTBOX-News Corp and BSkyB’s combined British assets

Dec 30 (BestGrowthStock) – British communications regulator Ofcom is
due to submit a report on Friday to the country’s culture
minister on News Corp’s (NWSA.O: ) proposed $12 billion buyout of
British satellite broadcaster BSkyB (BSY.L: ).

The report is aimed at helping minister Jeremy Hunt decide
whether to refer the matter to Britain’s Competition Commission
— a decision his department says he aims to make by the end of
January. [ID:nLDE6BK1JN]

Opponents have voiced concern that Rupert Murdoch’s News
Corp would have too much influence over Britain’s media if the
merger went ahead. Below is a description of the main British
media assets that News Corp would own:

BSKYB

Britain’s first satellite broadcaster passed its long-held
target of 10 million customers last month, giving it access to
36 percent of households in UK and Ireland. Sky News, the
broadcaster’s most relevant channel in terms of influence over
public opinion, started in 1989 and had the 24-hour TV news
market to itself until the state-owned BBC [BBC.UL] started a
news channel in 1997. Sky News now has 0.5 percent of Britain’s
total TV audience, compared with BBC News’s 0.9 percent. News
Corp currently owns 39 percent of BSkyB.

THE TIMES OF LONDON

With a daily circulation of 466,000, The Times is Britain’s
second-most popular quality daily after the Daily Telegraph. The
Times stopped revealing online audience figures ahead of putting
up a paywall around The Times, the Sunday Times and the News of
the World websites this year, but in November it said it had
about 200,000 paying online readers for the Times and Sunday
Times — about one-tenth of its previous online readership.
Britain’s leading online newspaper is the Daily Mail’s (DMGOa.L: )
MailOnline, with 2.94 average daily users, followed by the
Guardian with 2.32 million. The BBC’s main UK site is Britain’s
most popular online news destination and attracts about four
times as many users as MailOnline.

THE SUNDAY TIMES

Britain’s most popular quality Sunday newspaper with an
average circulation of 1.05 million.

THE SUN

The tabloid is Britain’s most popular daily newspaper with
an average circulation of 2.9 million. It backed Conservative
David Cameron, who went on to become prime minister, in this
year’s national parliamentary elections.

THE NEWS OF THE WORLD

The tabloid is Britain’s most popular Sunday newspaper with
a circulation of 2.75 million. The newspaper has been at the
centre of a phone-hacking scandal, raising questions about the
desirability of a further concentration of Rupert Murdoch’s
powers. The paper’s editor at the time, Andy Coulson, resigned
in 2007 after a reporter was jailed for involvement in phone
hacking and is now Cameron’s media chief.

(Compiling by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by David Holmes)
($1=.6493 Pound)

FACTBOX-News Corp and BSkyB’s combined British assets