BSkyB denies order to pull F1 story undermines Sky News’s independence | Media | guardian.co.uk
The issue of whether the news operation would be able to remain truly independent from its parent company was a topic of fierce debate when News Corporation, which owns 39.1% of BSkyB, sought to take full control of the UK’s most successful commercial broadcaster.
As part of the ultimately ill-fated bid, in early 2011 News Corp attempted to appease regulators by offering to spin off Sky News, claiming that would ensure it remained independent and media plurality in the UK was maintained, although critics argued that the fact Rupert Murdoch would continue to hold a 39% stake in the new company would make that unfeasible.
“Sky News is meant to be editorially independent [of BSkyB],” said a second source with knowledge of the Sky News incident at the weekend. “Why should BSkyB have to be made aware of stories, could it happen again, what does it say about precedent?”
BSkyB swooped to pick up the lion’s share of the rights to broadcast F1 in conjunction with the BBC last summer.