James Murdoch wins backing of Sky shareholders to stay as chairman


The fantasy series is now the most-watched ever shown on Sky.

The broadcaster said in a statement: "The board notes the significant vote against resolution 3, the directors' remuneration report, and resolution 12, the re-election of James Murdoch, and will continue to engage with shareholders to understand their views as part of its ongoing programme of engagement".

The motion to reappoint Mr Murdoch, a former chief executive of Sky, was passed with 78% of votes.

The popularity of Game Of Thrones has helped boost broadcasting giant Sky as it posted surging revenues and customer numbers.

Sky, which is now the subject of a full takeover bid by Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox, said it made a strong start to its new year, with an improvement in revenue and new customer numbers.

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Jeremy Darroch, Group Chief Executive, said that the good revenue growth and excellent profit growth was achieved against the backdrop of pressure on consumer spending and lower spend on United Kingdom television advertising.

Sky added 160,000 new customers, up 51pc from the same period a year ago.

Bradley will appear at a select committee hearing on Wednesday, while Sky is to face shareholders for its annual general meeting on Thursday.

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.

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, the CMA said in a statement.

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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".

Fox owns 39.1% of Sky is trying to purchase the entire company in a deal worth $18.5 billion.

In September, UK Culture Secretary Karen Bradley referred Fox's £11.7B takeover bid for Sky to the CMA for review on the grounds of media plurality and commitment to broadcasting standards.

Ms Bradley said today that the final decision on the deal would be based on evidence and not "personal emotion or feelings".

The CMA is required to report to the Secretary of State with its recommendations within six months of opening the investigation.

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