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James Murdoch Survives Shareholder Protest at Sky, Remains Chairman

Sky Reports Results, 'Game of Thrones' its most-watched series ever

James Murdoch Survives Shareholder Protest at
Simon Wilkinson/REX/Shutterstock

Sky promised to engage with shareholders after a significant number opposed the re-election of James Murdoch as chairman. Murdoch survived the scare, which came from shareholders concerned about a potential conflict of interest as 21st Century Fox continues to pursue a deal for the piece of Sky it does not already own. Murdoch is CEO of Fox.

Shareholders took issue with Murdoch, and with director pay at pay-TV company Sky’s AGM, which took place today, Wednesday.

“The Board notes the significant vote against… the Directors’ Remuneration Report, and… 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 company said.

Almost 22% of all shareholders opposed Murdoch, and 48.5% of independent shareholders.

Fox’s $15 billion bid for Sky is currently with U.K. competition watchdogs. Having been approved at an E.U. level and in other territories, it has faced numerous delays and hurdles in the U.K.

The Sky AGM came as the company reported strong first quarter results, with 161,000 new customers and a 5% uptick in revenue of £3.3 billion ($4.3 billion). The company launched new streaming services in Spain and Switzerland in the quarter.

In terms of programming, Sky said “Riviera” became its most-watched original series ever in period, and “Game of Thrones” the most-watched series ever on Sky.