BSkyB shares battered by soccer rights loss

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

LONDON (AP) — Shares in British Sky Broadcasting PLC have taken a battering after rival BT PLC snatched the television rights to European Champions League soccer, Europe's top club competition.

The loss of the rights, which it shared with terrestrial broadcaster ITV PLC, is a blow for the satellite broadcaster, which has built its business over the past two decades largely on the back of its acquisition of soccer rights.

Investors are worried BSkyB, whose biggest shareholder is Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., will face additional financial pressures just to stand still.

BT is paying 1.076 billion euros ($1.44 billion) — double the current deal — for the three-year exclusive rights to the Champions League and the sister tournament, the Europa League.

BSkyB shares are down 10.6 percent Monday at 831 pence.