Manchester United’s very own subscription-based TV channel, MUTV, is now wholly-owned by the English Premier League club, after buying out the remaining 33.3% minority share from BSkyB.
Launched in September 1998, MUTV serves up interviews with players and staff, full matches, as well as other news and Manchester United-themed programming. At launch, the channel was a three-way venture between Manchester United, ITV and BSkyB, with ITV selling its share to the football club in 2007.
Today, MUTV employs around 60 staff and operates from offices in central Manchester, a studio at the Club’s training ground, Carrington, and from facilities within Old Trafford stadium. And with the news that Manchester United has now acquired the remaining equity stake, MUTV is now officially a wholly-owned subsidiary of Manchester United.
MUTV is currently available in almost sixty countries globally, accessed in the UK and Ireland by subscription on satellite and cable platforms. Elsewhere, it’s available via subscription, or as “programming blocks” bought by broadcasters. It also offers a similar service online, with hand-picked match highlights, news and interviews.
As a global brand, Manchester United is evidently looking to take on complete control of both its domestic and overseas content production and distribution. “This latest acquisition is a natural progression and is indicative of the club’s desire to have full control of the content generating and distribution capabilities across all of its businesses,” said the club in a statement.
“The acquisition of Sky’s stake is great news for all our fans who watch us around the globe, MUTV, its staff and the club,” says Manchester United commercial director Richard Arnold. “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 659 million followers.”
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