Rupert Murdoch: approved full takeover of BSkyB
Rupert Murdoch: approved full takeover of BSkyB
A view from Chris Locke

What marketers need to know about the News Corp/Sky deal

Chris Locke, UK trading director at Starcom MediaVest Group, considers what News Corporation's proposed move to take full ownership of BSkyB means for advertisers.

Today’s announcement that culture secretary Jeremy Hunt has approved the proposed Sky News spin off from News Corp raises a number of interesting opportunities to the marketing and advertising sector. With the move clearing the way for News Corp’s full ownership of BSkyB, how will brands capitalise?

With deeper engagement across BSkyB’s channels and NI, brands can better access Sky’s customers that we know are slightly younger, more affluent, and can afford to buy more branded products.

Clearly the market will react accordingly against any attempt to disproportionately leverage investment across NI/Sky. But there should be renewed interest in the potential for IPTV and the NI ‘paywall’ - currently the elephant in the room. 

Now News Corp is close to owning it all, what are the odds that for a cost of 50p on a monthly bill of an 'on-net' BSkyB customer (ie taking Sky plus Broadband/Mobile), and a cost of £1 to an 'off-net’ customer (ie taking BSkyB plus BT etc), customers will be allowed access inside the walled online content?

It is also worth noting that Sky has been quietly developing strong partnerships with data experts such as Experian, not to mention potential plans to seriously scale up its research panel SkyView (currently circa 20,000). Additionally, we are not far away from bespoke targeted TV advertising through SkyAdsmart.

Suddenly, you could have a very scalable business with a paid-for digital product and real world customer base, one we and our clients would be very interested in. This, we believe, is the big win for advertisers and agencies via this acquisition.  It creates a real, justified opportunity to become a stronger partner with a multi-layered digital proposition that suddenly makes a lot of sense.

Of course, let's not jump up and down either way too quickly. There is the small matter of Sky shareholder’s accepting the current share offer to consider.