And now for BSkyB's next acquisition: Is Rupert Murdoch trying to rival Facebook?

BSkyB quietly announced this morning that it's raising its stake in virtual reality company Jaunt. That's the second big VR deal this year...

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 29 Oct 2014

After all the hysteria that surrounded last week's £7bn European buyout comes something rather more muted from BSkyB: this morning it announced it had increased its stake in virtual reality company Jaunt.

Alright, so the figures aren't really comparable: BSkyB has put $400,000 (£236,000) into the company, on top of a $350,000 investment earlier this year.

Not a big deal, by any stretch of the imagination - but interesting in that it gives us a suggestion of Sky's interests. Back in March, Facebook bought virtual reality company Oculus VR (which wins the 'cool, futuristic sounding name' prize hands-down) for $2bn. Is Sky gearing up for a showdow with Facebook?

Probably not, if we're honest - but the deal does indicate that, as far as technology and media companies are concerned, the two are becoming increasingly similar. Since it was formed as a pay-TV service in the 1990s, BSkyB has diversified into broadband and on-demand TV streaming services.

Facebook, meanwhile, is trying to find a way for everyone to access the internet (very noble, until you take into account that providing people in emerging markets with internet would mean more people have access to, er, Facebook), and has its own live video channel.

So now the race is to be the first to develop a commercially viable virtual reality offering. At the moment, it's all very niche - but whoever can come up with a non-silly-looking, vaguely attractive way to make the internet and movies work on a virtual reality headset could stand to make big bucks.

At the moment, all we have is this. There's a long way to go...

Image credit: Jaunt

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