Broadcasting and in particular satellite broadcasting is a technology dependent sector. BSkyB as the dominant paid TV supplier due to its iron grip on the nation's football coverage remains a key investor and user of technology.
The Isleworth based TV network has completed its acquisition of Amstrad for £127 million. Amstrad, once famous for its computers, manufacturers the standard and high definition set top boxes that Sky subscribers acquire as part of their package. Amstrad has long been one of the main hardware suppliers to BSkyB.
Sky, which attacked the BBC at a industry forum only to find many in the industry backing the Beeb and not the Rupert Murdoch owned channel, is also investing in the electronic programme guide (EPG) that operate the set top boxes. Sky works with application specialist NDS using an OpenTV licensed product to develop its EPG. It is also investing in organisations that develop encryption technology to protect its channels from free access.
Early in 2009 Sky entered into talks with the Italian internet service provider Tiscali to acquire the company and add its services to Sky packages, but Sky pulled out of the deal and Carphone Warehouse became the owner of Tiscali.
Sky, like Network Rail and the British Transport Police was hit with a personal data leak when details of staff pensions were stolen from a Deloitte auditor.
In its latest annual report Sky details £21 million in expenses as the result of a court case against HP owned IT services provider EDS. Sky won legal redress from EDS for the dispute over the customer relationship management system developed for Sky.
Sky invested £16m into third party organisations carrying out research and development last year, predominantly into the areas of encryption technology.