BSkyB wants more, sir, before selling majority control to News Corp

It looks like cable icon and Liberty Global Media Chairman John Malone has some company in his quest to gobble up pay TV systems in Europe. BSkyB's (LSE: BSY.L) part owner, Rupert Murdoch-owned News Corp (NasdaqGS: NWSA), wants to become full owner and is willing to pay $12 billion--or 700 pence per share--for the opportunity.

BSkyB, Britain's most powerful pay TV service is riding high these days on premium and sports programming and thinks it's worth more than News Corp has bid--something like 800 pence per share. The Murdoch-led group wants to acquire the 61 percent of the company. James Murdoch, Rupert's son, runs the media company's European and Asian operations and previously headed BSkyB--in fact, he's still non-executive chairman-and he's made it clear that pay TV in Western Europe is a priority.

And, in other BSkyB news, the satellite provider is now going to get some competition from another old foe, Virgin Media, which has decided to enter the 3D TV market by the end of the year with a "whole range of new products." So far, BSkyB has the field to itself, promoting live sporting events in 3D.

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Related articles:
Malone stalking Europe for cable opportunities
News Corp., Murdoch, edge closer to control of BSkyB

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