James Murdoch re-elected Sky chair despite shareholder rebellion


This week the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) outlined how it will examine the deal and the impact on media plurality and broadcasting standards in the United Kingdom and invited submissions for the six-month investigation.

Some shareholder advisory groups had called on investors to vote against Mr Murdoch's reappointment on the grounds that he is also chief executive of 21st Century Fox.

Some institutional shareholders had criticized Murdoch's appointment as chairman, arguing that could pose a conflict of interest given his role as CEO of Sky's largest shareholder.

Its bid, which is strongly opposed by some lawmakers and is subject to lengthy regulatory scrutiny, hangs over the European pay-TV group, which reported quarterly results earlier on Thursday. He also refused to comment on whether Fox was getting a "sweetheart deal" on the price it will pay for Sky.

James Murdoch was questioned about corporate governance at Twenty-First Century Fox, where there have been allegations of sexual and racial harassment.

He told shareholders he was "pretty confident" that this would not have an effect on the CMA's investigation. In late 2014, after BSkyB acquired Fox's Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland, the bigger company changed its name to Sky.

A United Kingdom investigation into a planned takeover of TV giant Sky by Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox will assess the tycoon's influence on the country's political landscape, regulators said Tuesday.

But as the acquisition drags on, Sky is continuing its business as usual, and a first quarter trading update on Thursday likely to illustrate this.

"We are especially pleased with the strength of the company's performance given the challenging consumer environment", Murdoch said. The pay package handed to Sky's chief executive, Jeremy Darroch, quadrupled to more than £16m in the year to the end of June, despite a hefty fall in annual profits at the broadcaster's United Kingdom and Ireland business. It has already added 800,000 new subscription products this year bringing the total to over 60 million.

He pointed out that in addition to Sky's existing markets - the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy - the company had just launched consumer streaming services in Spain and Switzerland.

Game of Thrones helped Sky increase customer numbers by 51 per cent in the first quarter, as revenue and earnings also grew.

"Our growth is coming at the top and at the entry end as well", he said. Sky shares in London gained $13, or 1.4%, to close at $926.50.