Sky profits up as the battle over ownership continues

Sky has reported pre-tax profits up 7.5% over the past twelve months to the end of June and added more than 500,000 customers across Europe.

The positive results will whet the appetites of US cable giant Comcast and entertainment group Disney.

Both are hoping to win control of the UK-based news-to-sport provider.

Currently, Comcast is leading the race to buy Sky, with a bid that values the group at £26bn.

Sky is 39% owned by Twentieth Century Fox, the media group controlled by Australian media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

Fox has agreed to sell its entertainment assets to Disney, including its stake in Sky, and has entered into a bidding war with Comcast to purchase the 61% of Sky it doesn’t yet own.

Sky has nearly 23 million pay-TV subscribers in the UK and Ireland, Italy, Austria and Germany and would give Comcast a major foothold in the European market.

With broadcasters under increasing pressure from streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon, Sky is an attractive target with its range of exclusive deals for Premier League football as well as dramas such as Games of Thrones.