by Staff Writers
London (AFP) Nov 8, 2010
BSkyB, the pay-TV giant being courted by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., announced on Monday that it had reached its long-held target of 10 million household customers.
"Sky today announces that it has reached its target of 10 million TV customers, making it the choice of 36 percent of households in the UK and Ireland," the company said in a statement.
"Since the target was set in August 2004, a further 2.6 million customers have joined Sky for a better choice of entertainment and a better viewing experience.
"With 10 million households choosing to subscribe, Sky TV now reaches more than 25 million people," it added.
The achievement comes against the backdrop of a takeover tussle for BSkyB.
Business Secretary Vince Cable last week referred News Corp's bid for control of the pay-TV giant to media regulator Ofcom over concerns about concentration in the media sector.
Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. bid 7.8 billion pounds (9.0 billion euros, 12.6 billion dollars) in June for full control of BSkyB, which screens live English Premier League football and has a 24-hour news channel, but this was rejected by the group as too low.
Cable's intervention comes after rival British media groups, including newspaper publishers and broadcasters, had objected to the deal.
News Corporation, which publishes Britain's The Times and The Sun newspapers, already owns about 39 percent of BSkyB, making it the group's largest shareholder.
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