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Announcement:

Moody's says no immediate impact on BSkyB's Baa1 rating from News Corp Proposal

Global Credit Research - 16 Jun 2010

London, 16 June 2010 -- Moody's Investors Service said today that there was no immediate impact on British Sky Broadcasting Group plc's ("BSkyB" or "the company") ratings (senior at Baa1) from the announcement that News Corporation (News Corp) has proposed making an offer for the share capital in BSkyB that is does not already own at 700p a share. The Independent Directors of BSkyB have indicated that they would not recommend an offer at that level. However, they have indicated that they would have been prepared to consider an offer in excess of 800p a share and BSkyB has agreed to cooperate amongst other things in obtaining the regulatory clearances that would be needed before a binding offer can be made.

Given (i) Moody's expectation that obtaining regulatory clearance could take considerable time, (ii) the uncertainty whether, when and at what price a final binding offer will be made and (iii) the absence of any indication as to how a possible transaction would impact BSkyB's finances, there is no change to the Baa1 rating for the time being. However, Moody's notes that the current Baa1 rating reflects amongst other factors the expectation that BSkyB operates independently from its key shareholder News Corp (rated Baa1 by Moody's) and that its business is managed in such a way that the ratio of Debt to EBITDA (as defined by Moody's) remains below 3.0x and that no significant sustained fall in free cash flow generation (as defined by Moody's) occurs. Should it become obvious that there will be a material and sustained departure from these target metrics following a successful transaction, negative rating pressure could ensue depending on Moody's assessment of BSkyB's position within the News Corp group.

Moody's will monitor the further developments on this transaction and comment from time to time as necessary.

The last rating action was on 9th April 2009 when Moody's upgraded BSkyB's ratings to Baa1 (from Baa2), with a stable outlook. The company's ratings were assigned by evaluating factors we believe are relevant to the credit profile of the issuer, such as i) the business risk and competitive position of the company versus others within its industry, ii) the capital structure and financial risk of the company, iii) the projected performance of the company over the near to intermediate term, and iv) management's track record and tolerance for risk. These attributes were compared against other issuers both within and outside of BSkyB's core industry and BSkyB's ratings are believed to be comparable to those of other issuers of similar credit risk.

British Sky Broadcasting Group plc, an entertainment and communications company, is the leading pay-TV operator in the UK and Ireland. As of 31 December 2009, the company had a customer base of 9.7 million. Sky's principal activity is the retailing of pay TV packages to its subscribers, most of which are distributed across the DTH digital satellite platform which it operates. Sky's channels are also distributed on a wholesale basis to competing pay TV platforms.

In addition to its satellite video offering, Sky also provides broadband Internet and fixed line telephony products to its subscriber base. As of 31 December 2009, Sky had 2.4 million broadband Internet and 2.1 million telephony customers.

London
David G. Staples
Managing Director
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

London
Christian Rauch
Senior Vice President
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Moody's says no immediate impact on BSkyB's Baa1 rating from News Corp Proposal
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