BSkyB ups stake in Shine

Company plans to acquire Reveille

LONDON — Europe’s biggest paybox, BSkyB, has upped its stake in the ambitious U.K. shingle Shine, run by Elisabeth Murdoch.

The satcaster, controlled by News Corp., is understood to have increased its holding in the British “super-indie” from 2.88% to 11.3%.

Details of how much coin was involved were not forthcoming, but there is speculation that the new investment from BSkyB, chaired by Elisabeth’s brother James, may have provided the financial firepower needed by Shine to bid for U.S. producer Reveille.

The process of acquiring Reveille is expected to be complete by early February. “We are past the point of no return,” said a Shine source.

This move, for which Shine is thought to have forked out $125 million, according to latest reports, will cement the shingle’s position as, arguably, Blighty’s most dynamic indie.

Certainly thanks to its links to News Corp. and Sony, owner of a 15% stake, Shine is well positioned to take advantage of the U.S. TV market in ways rival U.K. shingles will envy.

Speaking at an industry confab in Blighty last week, Murdoch explained that she wants to encourage formats to be bought and sold across the Atlantic.

She said: “’The demand for products across platforms doesn’t falter — in fact, it is still growing — but tastes and economics can differ wildly from cycle to cycle.”

Just over a year ago, Shine succeeded in outbidding rivals for Kudos, the U.K. drama specialist whose shows include “Life on Mars.”