Sky is a fit and proper broadcaster: Ofcom

MUMBAI: UK media watchdog Ofcom has said that UK pay TV service provider BSkyB is a fit and proper company to hold a broadcasting licence.

However Ofcom has criticised James Murdoch for his role in the phone hacking scandal. Ofcom said that he repeatedly fell short of the conduct to be expected of as a CEO, chairman.

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.

Ofcom‘s duty to be satisfied that a licensee is fit and proper is ongoing. Should further relevant evidence become available in the future, Ofcom would need to consider that evidence in order to fulfil its duty.

Ofcom though said that Murdoch‘s behaviour was difficult to comprehend and ill-judged.

Responding to Ofcom‘s statement News Corp said, "We are pleased that Ofcom recognises BSkyB as a fit and proper holder of a broadcast license and remain proud of both News Corporation‘s and James Murdoch‘s distinguished record in facilitating the transformation of Sky into Britain‘s leading pay television and home communications provider.

"We are also pleased that Ofcom determined that the evidence related to phone hacking, concealment and corruption does not provide any basis to conclude that News Corporation and Rupert Murdoch acted in a way that was inappropriate, and that there is similarly no evidence that James Murdoch deliberately engaged in any wrongdoing.

"We disagree, however, with certain of the report‘s statements about James Murdoch‘s prior actions as an executive and Director, which are not at all substantiated by evidence. As Ofcom itself acknowledged, James deserves credit for his role as Chief Executive, then Chairman and now non-executive Director, in leading Sky to an outstanding record as a broadcaster, including its excellent compliance record. We look forward to Sky‘s continuing to execute on its mission to provide viewers with the best television experience imaginable, and are honored to play a role in the many contributions it makes to Britain, its people, and its economy.

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