Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Game of Thrones boosts Sky earnings

Game of Thrones boosts Sky earnings

It reported that the first series of home-grown drama Riviera achieved 20 million downloads, becoming its highest ever rated Original commission and Game of Thrones became the most watched series ever on Sky.

"There's nothing wrong with Mr Murdoch - but it is because of the name".

Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch, Fox CFO John Nallen and former Fox no. 2 Chase Carey were also among those board members re-elected on Thursday, each with more than 98.5 percent of the shareholder vote in their favor.

European pay-TV giant Sky, facing a possible takeover by Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox, announced Thursday a surge in subscribers on keen demand for cult U.S. series Game of Thrones.

The group shrugged off pressure on consumer and advertising spending to post a 5% rise in revenues to £3.3 billion for the first quarter, while underlying earnings jumped 11% to £582 million.

Ahead of the meeting some shareholders had said they were planning to oppose Murdoch's re-election because they did not believe he could effectively represent independent investors as he is also chief executive of Twenty-First Century Fox.

Sky confirmed in its annual report last month that chief executive Jeremy Darroch's total annual pay packet more than trebled to £16.3m (€18.1m) previous year despite annual profits being hit by the cost of broadcasting live Premier League football.

Overall, Britain's Competitions and Markets Authority will assess the impact of the Murdoch family's proposed deal on both broadcasting standards and media plurality.

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".

The Fox takeover has been in the spotlight this week as the UK's Ofcom boss Sharon White and British Culture Secretary Karen Bradley appeared before British MPs on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

"Once the investigation is complete, we will report back to Karen Bradley for her to make a final decision".

The CMA is required to report to Bradley with its recommendations within six months of opening the investigation, after which the culture secretary will decide on whether or not the takeover can proceed.

It has already added 800,000 new subscription products this year bringing the total to over 60 million.

"And our judgement was that the behaviour, particularly at Fox News, was extremely serious and disturbing".

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