After months of battling, Britain's two satellite television networks have announced that they will merge, pooling their flagging resources and ending a bitter ratings war.

The four-channel Sky Television will merge with the five-channel British Satellite Broadcasting to form a new five-channel network called British Sky Broadcasting, Sky announced Friday.Sky and British Satellite will merge with a combined investment of $2.43 billion, it said. Sky was launched in February 1989. British Satellite, after a delayed start, has been broadcasting for just six months.

Both have been hit by soaring costs, dwindling advertising revenues and declining British television audiences.

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