Nov 11 - Shares in Britain's dominant pay-TV operator BSkyB fall by as much as 10 percent as investors recoiled from the group's loss of Champions League soccer to BT, its first major defeat in a rights auction. Joanna Partridge reports
1.5 billion pounds is today's daily digit in Europe. The amount wiped off BSKyB's market valuation as its shares fell by 10% in morning trade in London. Investors in the pay-TV operator were stunned as it lost the rights to show Champions League football matches. It was BSkyB's first major defeat in a rights auction. It lost out to the new kid on the block - former state telecoms monopoly BT. BT's recently launched a new sports TV service. It agreed to pay 900 million pounds to show Europe's top soccer competition for three years from 2015. BSkyB's defeat may also mean it will have to bid aggressively to keep the rights to Premier League games when that next comes up for auction. Chris Hughes is from Reuters Breakingviews. SOUNDBITE: Chris Hughes, Editor, Reuters Breakingviews, saying (English): "There is a question here about just how differentiated the Sky and the BT offerings are now. It used to be the case that Sky was for the real sports aficionados, BT had this extra bit of sport if you were choosing a broadband and you liked sport, well actually it might just tilt you over to BT. But now actually BT's going after the aficionados market. Where does that leave Sky?" Shares in BSkyB, which is 39% owned by Rupert Murdoch's 20th Century Fox, had been trading at a 12-year high ahead of the announcement. And strong October results appeared to show it hadn't been hit too much by the BT Sport launch. All eyes will be on its next results to see the impact of the Champions League rights loss.