Sky is a 'fit and proper' broadcaster, chief insists

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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Equity | New York

Not specified: Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Global Equity | New Yor...

Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation

Not specified: Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation This top tiered investment...

Selby Jennings: Oil Operations

Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?