Viewers of Sky television are probably more interested in watching Premiership football matches than anything else, but increasingly the company has been branching out.
The pay-TV giant , which is one-third owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, recently said it was going to offer broadband services to its customers as it battles to keep up with the so called quadrupleplay direction the communications industry is headed. Cable operators and phone companies are offering packages to consumers in which digital TV, phone, high speed Internet and mobile phone services are all wrapped up into one.
Part of Sky's strategy is to beef up its Interactive service, which allows viewers to bet or shop while watching TV. And it seems there is no limit to what you can buy. From now on, Sky's 20 million viewers will actually be able to purchase castles in Britain or mainland Europe—the kind of thing that may, in fact, appeal to the successful private equity managing partner.
Fledgling internet site www.castlesofscotland.com has struck a deal allowing Sky interactive viewers the chance to view its properties for sale. The first is Knoppenburg Manor in Belgium, which comes with a modest price tag of €2.7 million ($3 million).
The Manor was built in the 16th century and is “conveniently situated in the center of Europe and is easily reached from Belgium or Germany,” according to the advertising. Set in 46 hectares of land enclosed by hedges and trees, the property boasts two towers with onion domes, stables, agricultural land and two natural ponds nearby. And the blurb goes on: “Due to the structure and location, the estate offers you the opportunity to realize your private or commercial vision.”
Founder of the website, David Rankin, 49, says that if castles are not your thing, then there are smaller properties for sale. One is a modest flat in Edinburgh, but it is not just any old flat. This one was once the residence of Scottish novelist Robert Louis Stevenson.
Now that's something to write home about.