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BSkyB confirms it is in early talks to buy stakes in Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia

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LONDON - BSkyB says it is in the early stages of talks with 21st Century Fox to buy its pay television assets in Italy and Germany.

A deal would create a pay-TV company with the power to sell services in three European territories. It would also allow Rupert Murdoch to consolidate his interests — while 21st Century Fox currently owns 57 per cent of Sky Deutschland and all of Sky Italia, it owns 39 per cent of BSkyB.

The talks come as BSkyB faces increasing competition from BT, which has expanded its sports programing and is offering free Premier League football when customers sign up to its broadband package.

BSkyB said Monday the discussions have not progressed beyond a preliminary stage and that "no agreement has been reached on terms."

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