Sky is a 'fit and proper' broadcaster, chief insists
Thursday 03 May 2012
BSkyB's chief executive, Jeremy Darroch, has insisted that the pay-TV giant is a "fit and proper" broadcaster despite a Commons committee ruling that its leading shareholder, Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, had exhibited "wilful blindness" over phone-hacking.
Mr Darroch, who was reporting record third-quarter profits, said Sky had a "strong corporate governance and culture" and this meant that the media regulator, Ofcom, should not revoke its broadcasting licence.
"Sky and News Corporation are different organisations," he said. "We strongly believe Sky's track record as a broadcaster is the most important factor in deciding whether we should hold a licence."
The Sky boss, who was speaking for the first time since James Murdoch quit as chairman a month ago, also said the board was "very clear in its support" for him to stay on as a non-executive director.
In a symbolic move, the younger Mr Murdoch was yesterday appointed as chairman of Sky's Bigger Picture committee in charge of its environmental and sustainability efforts.
However, his continued presence is controversial because Ofcom is looking at Sky's "controlling directors and shareholders" as part of its "fit and proper" test and could force News Corp to sell down its 39 per cent stake or even revoke its broadcasting licence.
Ofcom is also looking at Sky News after it admitted illegally hacking into emails over a 2008 story that exposed how "canoe man" John Darwin faked his disappearance. Mr Darroch insisted that the case was "justified in the public interest".
The Sky chief executive said he remains "focused on the business" and pre-tax profits for the nine months to March jumped to £899m against £705m a year earlier. Revenues rose 5 per cent at £5.1bn.
Mr Darroch said the pay-TV giant was boosted by its Formula One coverage as 159,000 new and existing TV customers upgraded to more expensive high-definition (HD) during the last quarter.
The HD increase was higher than the previous three months, which is traditionally stronger in the run-up to Christmas, and up on a year ago.
Sky only recruited a net 15,000 TV subscribers against 51,000 a year ago as consumers felt the squeeze.
However, Sky had greater success in offering customers other services such as broadband and phone, selling an extra 900,000 products. More than 3.2 million of Sky's 10.5 million customers take a "triple play" of TV, broadband and phone.
Sky shares rose 10.5p to 701.5p.
- 1 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 2 'Do not give them a reason': Baltimore man divides police and rioters in hope of avoiding violence
- 3 X Factor in crisis as numbers of people auditioning plummets
- 4 Baltimore riots: Furious mother marches her son home live on TV
- 5 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
General Election 2015: Tories sack candidate who said she would never support 'the Jew' Ed Miliband
Bali Nine executions: Indonesia confirms killings of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran will go ahead
The four utterly contradictory polls that tell the story of this election and why it is pointless trying to predict the outcome
General Election 2015: Prospect of Labour-SNP coalition makes one in four voters less likely to support Ed Miliband, says survey
Baltimore riots: Furious mother marches her son home live on TV
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
iJobs Money & Business
£Basic (OTE) + Uncapped Commission: Guru Careers: A Stockbroker (qualified / p...
£20000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you recently QCA Level 4 qu...
£20000 - £22500 per annum + OTE £30K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...
£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Application Support Analyst / 1st L...