Murdoch furore couldn’t have come at a worse time for BSkyB – World – DNA
“It is an absolute poster child for how a communications business should be run. It has become interwoven in how people run their lives,” said Paul Richards, an analyst at Numis Securities.
However, the phone-hacking scandal and News Corp’s contentious 39pc stake in BSkyB has not so much blotted the broadcaster’s copy book, as upended a whole ink well over it.
Ofcom, Britain’s broadcasting regulator, has the power to take away BSkyB’s licence to air television if it doesn’t think the company’s directors or controlling shareholders are “fit and proper”. This measure has only forced a broadcaster off air once in the past, but Ofcom’s steady flow of pronouncements on the subject suggest it has the appetite to flex its muscles again.
On Tuesday, MPs said News Corp was guilty of “wilful blindness” and that Rupert Murdoch was “not fit” to run an international company. If Ofcom reaches the same conclusion, News Corp could be forced to sell its entire stake or watch BSkyB, the broadcaster it tried to take over last summer, go off air.