Ofcom ruled on Thursday that BSkyB is ‘fit and proper’ to keep it’s broadcasting licence.
The UK’s media watchdog launched an investigation into the broadcaster on 6 July 2011, the day before News International closed the News of the World in the wake of the phone hacking scandal.
The review aimed to determine whether or not BSkyB should hold onto their right to broadcast in the UK, given that News International owner News Corp is its largest shareholder, with a 39.1% stake.
The ruling draws attention to the shortcomings of James Murdoch’s conduct at News International, but found that there was no evidence to suggest that BSkyB was involved in phone hacking. It concluded that Murdoch’s behaviour did not warrant the withdrawal of BSkyB’s broadcasting license.
“There is no evidence that Sky was directly or indirectly involved in any of the wrongdoing either admitted or alleged to have taken place at [the News of the World] or the Sun,” the report said. “In the circumstances, and notwithstanding our views in relation to James Murdoch’s conduct, we do not consider, having taken into account all the relevant factors, that on the evidence available to date Sky is no longer fit and proper to hold broadcast licences.
“Whilst we consider that James Murdoch’s conduct in various instances fell short of the standard to be expected of the chief executive officer and chairman, we do not find that James Murdoch’s retention as a non-executive director of Sky means that Sky is not fit and proper to hold broadcast licences.”
Sky announced that they were happy with the licence decision, and have seen their share price rise by 5p to 733p.
In a statement release earlier today, BSkyB said:
“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.”