Advanced Television

Ofcom: Sky ‘fit and proper’, doubts Murdoch

September 20, 2012

UK regulator Ofcom has decided Sky is a “fit and proper” company to hold a broadcasting licence. Ofcom was investigating in the context of the phone hacking scandal at News International, whose parent News Corp owns 39 per cent of Sky.

Ofcom said. “In July 2011, in light of the public debate about phone hacking and other allegations, Ofcom confirmed that it had a duty to consider whether Sky was fit and proper to continue to hold its broadcast licences…. Ofcom considers that, on the evidence currently available and having taken into account all the relevant factors, Sky is fit and proper to hold its broadcast licences.

“Should further relevant evidence become available in the future, Ofcom would need to consider that evidence in order to fulfil its duty.”

The lengthy report does contain criticism of the Sky chairman James Murdoch expressing severe doubts about the quality of his evidence before Parliament, however it concludes decisions about his suitability to continue should be left to the board.

Responding to the Ofcom statement, Sky said it welcomed the decision. “Ofcom is right to conclude that Sky is a fit and proper broadcaster. As a company, we are committed to high standards of governance and we take our regulatory obligations extremely seriously. As Ofcom acknowledges, our track record of compliance in broadcasting is good.

“We are proud of our contribution as a broadcaster, the investments we make to increase choice for UK audiences and the wider benefits we create for the economy. After a lengthy review process, we are pleased that Ofcom has now reached its conclusion and we look forward to continuing to develop our business for the benefit of customers and shareholders alike.”

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