×

Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch Says He ‘Intends to Stick Around’ After Comcast Takeover

Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch said Thursday that he intends to continue in his post after Comcast completes its takeover of the European pay-TV giant.

“I intend to stick around, and I look forward to leading Sky into the future,” Darroch said during a Comcast earnings call. “We’re all energized by the next phase of growth and the additional opportunities that being part of Comcast will bring, on top of delivering our existing plans.”

Darroch’s statement came at the end of his presentation to analysts and after Comcast CEO Brian Roberts introduced him as “Sky’s longtime successful CEO.” Later in the call, Roberts said he was “delighted” that Darroch would stay on.

“We’re really excited and pleased with the management team” at Sky, said Roberts, who contrasted the situation with Comcast’s acquisition of NBCUniversal, after which Comcast quickly instituted a number of executive changes. “We are delighted that Jeremy and many of the team, the senior team, we hope and believe are going to stay with the company.”

Whether the highly regarded Darroch would stay on after the Comcast takeover has been an open question since the deal was done. Darroch netted a payday of about £37 million from the Sky sale to Comcast. The announcement that he would participate with Roberts on the earnings call to talk about the future of Sky was seen as a sign that he was more likely to stay than depart.

Comcast beat 21st Century Fox in September in the high-stakes battle for Sky. The U.S. cable giant won a final-round auction shootout with a $40 billion bid, considerably higher than its rival’s best offer.

Roberts said that “Sky fits perfectly with Comcast” and defended the company’s price tag. Comcast’s share value dipped in the wake of the Sky deal and Fox’s rose. Roberts said he thinks that Sky has previously been “misunderstood and maybe mis-priced.”

“Disney bid 10% less,” Roberts said. “That’s exactly the amount we bid less than they did on Fox. These are super-desirable assets when put together with a company like Comcast and the fit makes us stronger. First, as a standalone, I think [Sky] supports the values. Together I think it increases the value.”

Darroch walked analysts through the dynamics of Sky and the media business in Europe, where pay-TV is still a long way from fully penetrating many territories.

Talk of cricket rights may have been novel for U.S. media analysts, and on sports, the Sky chief underlined that the company is focused on premium rights and walking away from second-tier offerings. He added that Sky will also reduce the volume of niche movies it buys and its lineup of linear entertainment channels.

Sky has pushed into streaming via its low-cost Now TV service. Darroch noted that the company has just finished work on an OTT platform what will allow it “to light up any other country very, very quickly” following SVOD launches in Spain and Switzerland.

Roberts sounded a more cautious note on streaming, but said it is part of the international plan. “Streaming is obviously going to be part of our business but is not a substitute for what is a very good business in television,” he said. “Streaming, we think, is very challenging economically, and we don’t want to rush into anything that could in any way take what has been a tremendous television business and make it worse.”

More TV

  • Beyonce-HOMECOMING-Netflix

    Beyoncé, Sara Bareilles Vie for First Emmys as Ramin Djawadi Looks to Reclaim Throne

    Beyoncé and Sara Bareilles could add Emmy trophies to their awards shelves this year, having been nominated in key music categories Tuesday by the Television Academy. Beyoncé’s “Homecoming” special on Netflix was nominated in six categories, and four of those include a nod for the pop superstar herself. Only one of those is in a [...]

  • Disney Content Sales President Janice Marinelli

    Disney Content Sales President Janice Marinelli to Depart

    Janice Marinelli, president of global sales and marketing at Walt Disney’s direct-to-consumer and international segment, said Tuesday that she would step down from her role after a 34-year career at the company. “It has been an honor to work for this company and a privilege to work with so many outstanding professionals,” said Marinelli in [...]

  • Dusty Slay

    Late-Night Bookers Take to the Internet in Search of Emerging Comics

    With Netflix releasing a comedy special every week and YouTube offering a portal into both cutting-edge performance and the best comedy sets in history, it’s never been easier for audiences to access an endless stream of standup. But for fledgling comics, there’s still no more game-changing showcase than a five-minute slot on a late-night talk [...]

  • CBS HEADQUARTERS

    CBS Warns DirecTV, AT&T U-Verse May Drop Network

    Some of CBS Corp.’s biggest stations and its flagship network could be dropped from AT&T’s various cable and satellite services if a carriage agreement between the companies is not reached by July 19. “CBS has reached timely, fair agreements with hundreds of other cable, satellite, telco and internet providers to carry our industry-leading, fan-favorite programming,”  [...]

  • Billy Porter, 2019 Oscars Gown, Actors

    Watch Emilia Clarke, Billy Porter and More 2019 Emmy Nominees on Variety's 'Actors on Actors'

    What did Emmy nominee Billy Porter from “Pose” learn about women from co-nominee Rachel Brosnahan on “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel?” What does Michael Douglas respect the most about Benicio del Toro’s acting ability? And how does Maya Rudolph’s recent meditations on the afterlife in the “The Good Place” coincide with the conversations Natasha Lyonne’s thoughts [...]

  • Russian Doll

    2019 Emmy Nominations Did Right by a Great Year in Comedy (Column)

    Even before the 2019 Emmy nominations were announced, the biggest and most obvious story belonged to the fact that last year’s drama nominees almost completely cleared the way for the final season of “Game of Thrones.” But for as weak as the drama categories are overall (give or take a “Pose”), the comedy categories have [...]

  • Big Little Lies Stranger Things

    Here's Why 'Big Little Lies' and 'Stranger Things' Weren't Nominated for 2019 Emmys

    Meryl Streep joined “Big Little Lies” this season, and “Stranger Things” broke a Netflix record — so why didn’t either show score an Emmy nomination? Every year, critically acclaimed and fan-favorite shows are noticeably omitted from the Emmy nominations, but not because they were snubbed. It’s because they’re not eligible.  This year, ineligible series include [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content