Man U buys out Sky from MUTV

MUTVManchester United has bought out the third stake in its MUTV channel previously owned by BSkyB.

In a statement, the club described the move as a strategic acquisition, which was a part of its long-term digital media plans.

MUTV was founded in 1998 as a three-way joint venture with ITV and Sky as equal partners. Since then the club says MUTV has developed considerable in-house expertise. The ITV stake was bought out in November 2007.

“The acquisition of Sky’s stake is great news for all of our fans who watch us around the globe, MUTV, its staff and the Club. We look forward to continuing to enhance our media proposition and distribution capabilities in the years to come; and delivering some of the best and most compelling content to our 659m followers,” said Richard Arnold, Manchester United’s commercial director.

Although its UK audiences are relatively small – its weekly reach of 83,000 is close to the foot of the Barb audience research panel – MUTV is seen in 57 countries across the world via both subscriptions and branded blocks on other channels.