BSkyB buys Amstrad for £125m

Satellite giant BSkyB is set to buy Sir Alan Sugar's electronics group Amstrad in a £125m takeover that will see the star of The Apprentice collect £34.5m. For BSkyB the deal means bringing one of its main set-top box suppliers in-house and should speed up the development of new products as it seeks to stay ahead in the increasingly competitive pay-TV market.

Brentwood-based Amstrad already supplies a third of the set-top boxes bought by Sky and the broadcaster accounts for the lion's share of revenues at Sir Alan's company. Until now, Sky's developers had come up with product specifications in-house then gone to potential suppliers asking them to come up with detailed designs to be made and sold back to Sky. Making Amstrad a sub-division still run by Sir Alan cuts out much of the costs for Sky and speeds up the process. Sky's chief executive James Murdoch said the deal built on a "long and positive relationship" with Amstrad.

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News source: Guardian Unlimited

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Murdoch doing the new series of the Apprentice then... hmmmm that'll be fun.

"right poms... for your first challenge... the team which can pay off as many politicians and cancel as many good US TV shows as possible wins"

Going by every single model of Sky box that's ever been produced by Amstrad pre & post digital, then no, these will be the worst ones and sensible purchasers will wait until the other manufacturers are allowed to build them as well.

Amstrad Sky boxes are shoddily made, noisy i.e. Sky+, have the worst returns for faults (see the messages posted on all the good satellite forums) and tend to crash the most, especially after major software updates.

I had an Amstrad built v3 Sky+ for less than a year, as a free replacement for my Pace v1 that Sky broke, and it was the worst piece of junk on the planet - the flap for the viewing card fell off within the first week and the box was never moved! I soon threw it out in favour of a Thompson built SkyHD which has been rock solid (strange seeing as so many others seem to have problems).

It will be interesting to see what happens to Sky HD boxes - Thompson are the only ones to produce them at the moment. Will there eventually be a new generation Sky HD box produced by Amstrad? If so, will it actually be better or worse?