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The end of era as Rupert Murdoch exits Sky

The ?29.7bn takeover of Sky plc by Comcast confirms the owner of Sky News to be the single most valuable British company founded from scratch during the last 30 years.
The success of that business would not have been made possible without the vision and guts of Rupert Murdoch, chairman of 21st Century Fox, which this afternoon agreed to sell its 39% shareholding in Sky to the US cable giant.
For it was Mr Murdoch who, in 1989, decided to launch Sky from some prefabricated buildings on an industrial estate in west London on what he told Maggie Brown, the media editor of The Independent newspaper, was "a wing and a prayer".That industrial estate is now home to Europe's biggest pay television operator, a vast campus where more than 7,500 people work, housing 10 studios and Europe's largest workplace gym.The sale of 21st Century Fox's stake in Sky plc, the owner of Sky News, therefore truly represents the end of an era.As Fox noted this afternoon, in its statement: "We bet - and almost lost - the farm on launching a business that many didn't think was such a good idea."
The end of era as Rupert Murdoch exits Sky

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21st Century Fox has agreed to sell its 39% stake in Sky
At the time of Sky's launch, there were just four British television channels: BBC1, BBC2, ITV and Channel 4, itself only seven years old at the time.The nay-sayers said there would be no appetite for any further choice for British TV viewers.Mr Murdoch, who had seen how cable television in the United States had revolutionised viewer choice, suspected British consumers would be just as keen on having more choice in their viewing.:: 21st Century Fox agrees to sell 39% Sky stake to ComcastThe business came close to collapse in its early days.Sky had been launched in a hurry to get in ahead of a rival service, British Satellite Broadcasting, which was backed by the UK's business and financial establishment.By 1990, both businesses were haemorrhaging cash, obliging them to merge into a company called British Sky Broadcasting (the name reverted to Sky in 2015).The business was losing so much money that, it was said, Mr Murdoch remortgaged his New York home to help keep it going.In Sky's early days, it offered just four channels - the Sky channel (now Sky One), Sky Movies, Eurosport and Sky News.
The end of era as Rupert Murdoch exits Sky

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Comcast valued Sky at ?29.7bn
The latter, Britain's first 24-hour rolling news channel, was truly revolutionary.
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