PRESS BARON Rupert Murdoch and his British Sky Broadcasting may have cleverly gotten out of a jam. Last fall, Sky's stock price was bashed by regulatory fears and peaking satellite sales. So Murdoch joined with Carlton Communications and Granada Group to bid for a franchise in something called Digital Terrestrial Television. Their main rival is International CableTel, Britain's No.3 cable operator.

With DTT, signals come in through an ordinary home aerial and are decoded through a set-top box. BSkyB, a satellite and cable programming supplier, could boost its market share, since DTT is aimed at the 75% of British homes that now lack those services. So BSkyB's stock is up roughly 35% from December's low.

Politicians praise the BSkyB consortium for seeking to make digital available and affordable to all. It would air pay-TV on half of DTT's 30 channels.

By Stanley Reed

Updated June 15, 1997 by bwwebmaster
Copyright 1997, Bloomberg L.P.
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