By 1990 both Rupert Murdoch’s Sky Television and the BSB alliance were beginning to struggle with the burden of massive losses. The collapse of BSB in November 1990 led to a merger, which was in effect a takeover by Sky quality programming and superior technical quality had been no match for shrewd, aggressive marketing and pragmatic capital expenditure.
The new company was called British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) but marketed as Sky, Marco Polo House was sold, BSB’s channels were largely scrapped in favour of Sky’s and the Marco Polo satellites were run down and eventually sold in favour of the Astra system (Marcopolo I in December 1993 to NSAB of Sweden and Marcopolo II in July 1992 to Telenor of Norway. Both companies had already one HS376 in orbit at the time). The merger may have saved Sky financially; despite its popularity, Sky had very few major advertisers to begin with. Acquiring BSB’s healthier advertising contracts and equipment apparently solved the company’s problems.