Murdoch senior: Sky's remarkable story

Sky Chairman Rupert Murdoch offered BSkyB shareholders a vindication of his company’s 18 years in business by declaring it would relish the competition brought by changes in the media landscape.

Murdoch told investors at the company’s annual general meeting that the satellite broadcaster’s history since launching 18 years ago had been “a remarkable story,” with “many more chapters to come.” He said Sky had helped to end a “world of limitation and scarcity” by pioneering multichannel television, 24-hour news coverage and innovations such as the Sky+ personal video recorder and high definition TV.

Sky would respond to its customers’ demands as the balance between traditional broadcasting and consumer choice shifted, he added. “We believe that the only strategy for success in a competitive marketplace is to maintain an absolute focus on meeting customer needs. The good news for companies like Sky is that consumers are taking charge. People everywhere will soon have the power to access a virtually unlimited wealth of information, to choose what they want from it, to share it, to add to it, and to create new communities that transcend old boundaries. No doubt this will be painful for some. It will threaten businesses that fail to adapt. But as a trend it has to be good for our society.”

He suggested that this would also be good for companies such as Sky. “I mean the companies that are positive and optimistic about change, that take risks and that focus above all else on their customers.” he continued, “For Sky, competition is not simply a fact of life to be tolerated. We relish competition and help to create it. We compete vigorously, responsibly and fairly.”

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