BskyB to gain sport-bids advantage in merger
Diabolik is a long-running Italian comic-book character, a criminal mastermind who fights enemies with a dagger or dart.
As Rupert Murdoch prepares to complete the merger of his British, Italian and German pay-TV companies next week, the masked anti-hero is the first example of the trio joining forces to see off competitors such as Netflix, John Malone's Liberty Global and UK rival BT.
Murdoch-controlled BSkyB, Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia are co-developing a series based on Diabolik, as they put together a broader plan to harmonise cross-border TV production and bidding for sports rights.
BSkyB is paying over $10bn for the Italian and German companies. "It's not going to be plain sailing but a main plus is it's going to give Sky more buying power when it comes to sports rights," Roddy Davidson, of Westhouse Securities in London, said. Sky Europe, as the combination is known in the industry, will be the continent's biggest pay-TV provider with 20 million customers in five countries, including Ireland.