British Sky Broadcasting Group, better known as BSkyB, plays an important role in the British TV and radio landscape. BSkyB has an expanding niche market - satellite broadcasting of TV programs through paying channels. It is one of the main suppliers of this market. BSkyB brings entertainment, information and sport through mass program distribution. The Group particularly focuses on interactivity, allowing viewers to access a wide range of recent and original programs, for example new films on Sky One and Sky Movies. For sport, BSkyB has bought the broadcasting rights to football and rugby matches in Scotland and England, the two sports that bring in the largest number of viewers. The Sky Sport division also broadcasts golf tournaments, basketball, tennis, ice hockey and boxing and athletics. The Group estimates that its channels are watched in million homes in the UK and Ireland. 8 million people subscribe to its digital service. With the acquisition at the end of 2005 of the company Easynet, Internet access provider and fibre optic network operator, BskyB is now in a position to diversify its services by offering VoIP telephony, video on demand, and of course Internet based TV channels. In November 2006, BSY purchased 17.9% of ITV, one of the UK's largest commercial broadcasters.
The company is 39-percent owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. In the financial year 2007, revenues breakdown is as follows: retail subscription 74.8% wholesale subscription 4.6% advertising 7.7% installation & hardware 4.7% others 8.2%.
Ownership of the company is as follows: News UK Nominees Limited (a subsidiary of News Corporation) 39.14% Templeton Global Advisors Limited 5.89% Brandes Investment Partners L.P. 3.12% The Capital Group Companies, Inc. 3.10% Janus Capital Management LLC 3.07% other public and institutional shareholders 45.68%.