CMA outlines scope of Sky, Fox investigation

CMA outlines scope of Sky, Fox investigation

It attributed the boost to the hype around smash hit series Game of Thrones.

The group shrugged off pressure on consumer and advertising spending to post a 5% rise in revenues to £3.3bn (€3.68bn) for the first quarter, while underlying earnings jumped 11% higher to £582m (€649m).

"Our investment on-screen to broaden our offering is delivering with viewing to Sky channels up 10% year on year".

It said that although the economic backdrop remains uncertain, it plans to continue focusing on giving more quality, choice and value to its customers.

The pay TV operator said it continued to see good demand for its products and services, surpassing a milestone of 60 million overall "subscription products" - though it did not break out numbers for its various services, which include Now TV, Sky Mobile, and as of last month Sky Espana.

Mr Darroch said: "We've had a strong start to our new financial year with good revenue growth and excellent profit growth as investments we've made come through".

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The company said fantasy drama Game of Thrones had become "the most watched series ever on Sky", while its home-grown drama Riviera achieved 20 million downloads in the period.

Culture Secretary Karen Bradley chose to disregard Ofcom's judgement that the deal should only be referred to the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) over concerns about its impact on media plurality, additionally opting to refer the bid on the grounds of commitment to broadcasting standards.

Sky - now the subject of an £11.7bn (€13bn) takeover bid from Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox - said it added 160,000 new customers in its first quarter, which marks a 51% rise on a year earlier.

Culture Secretary Karen Bradley sent the £11.7bn ($15.4bn) deal to the CMA for review last month following the conclusion of a three-month inquiry by Ofcom.

Among the areas the CMA will look at are how and if the Murdoch family's ability to control or influence editorial and commercial decisions at Sky News will change following the bid for full control of the company. Along with the general landscape of news consumption in the United Kingdom, two key questions here are whether and how the ability of the Murdoch Family Trust to control or influence editorial and commercial decisions at Sky News will change as a result of the merger; and whether and how the ability of the MFT to influence the political agenda will change as a result of the transaction.

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