BSkyB says it is still fit to broadcast
BSKYB yesterday defended itself against mounting political pressure over its biggest shareholder News Corp, insisting that it remains a “fit and proper” British broadcaster.
News Corp also leapt into defence mode yesterday following a bruising parliamentary report on phone hacking at its subsidiaries. Its directors stated their “full confidence in Rupert Murdoch’s fitness and support for his continuing to lead News Corp into the future.”
But left-wing politicians piled in to criticise the media tycoon. Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said yesterday that “there are very serious question marks about the basic accountability and corporate governance” at the News Corp stable in light of the culture committee’s report.
And Labour leader Ed Miliband told the BBC that “Ofcom needs to add urgency to its investigation” into Murdoch’s fitness to own a media group following “very very serious wrongdoing at News International”.
But BSkyB chief Jeremy Darroch grabbed the opportunity of his company’s record results to say: “We believe that Sky’s track record as a broadcaster is the most important factor in determining our fitness to hold a licence.”
He also set out the results of a review at Sky News to emphasise its distance from under-fire peer News International. It said law firm Herbert Smith had found “no evidence of impropriety or cause for concern” in Sky News’ emails and payment records.