Dec 20, 2018

Darroch scans new horizons for Sky under Comcast

Jeremy Darroch is recalling the conversation he had with Rupert Murdoch three months ago when Comcast beat Walt Disney in a high-stakes auction to acquire Sky. Mr Murdoch launched Sky to challenge the hegemony of UK broadcasting and the company initially had strictly domestic concerns, its main competition being cable operators and free-to-air rivals such as the BBC and ITV. But the media industry has globalised, with "Over the top" streaming players such as Netflix and Amazon competing with Sky for viewer attention. AT&T, the new owner of Time Warner, is also developing a streaming service, which will include programming from HBO. Claire Enders, of Enders Analysis, said any company hoping to launch a streaming service in Europe would have to talk to Sky and Comcast because of their scale and reach as distributors. Brian Roberts, Comcast's chief executive, has promised to allow Mr Darroch to run Sky as he sees fit. Jeremy Darroch appointed Sky chief financial officer.

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