×

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.”

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Hasan Minhaj

    Hasan Minhaj on ‘Winnable’ Student Loan Issue, 2020 Presidential Candidates

    Fresh off testifying at the first-ever US House Committee on Financial Services hearing on the student loan crisis, Hasan Minhaj used his platform at the Tribeca TV Festival on Sunday to continue the discussion around the issue that he says affects 44 million people in America. “This is a huge problem,” the comedian and host [...]

  • Beyonce Knowles'The Lion King' film premiere,

    ABC Announces Behind-the-Scenes Special for Beyoncé's 'Lion King' LP

    ABC has announced a new behind-the-scenes look into the making of Beyoncé’s “The Lion King: The Gift” LP, which is set to air September 16 on ABC at 10 p.m. EST. Titled “Beyoncé Presents: Making the Gift,” the new hour-long special will allow viewers to “experience the process” behind the “Lion King” companion album, according [...]

  • 71st Emmys Governors Ball

    Why the Television Academy Plans to Donate Furnishings From the 71st Emmys Governors Ball

    The Emmys’ official after party is set to impress — and to leave a permanent impression. At the annual press preview of the 71st Emmys Governors Ball, the Television Academy announced a partnership with Living Spaces, Habitat for Humanity and the Hollywood Community Housing Project that will provide more than 80 custom sofas, chairs and [...]

  • 'No Good Nick' Canceled After One

    'No Good Nick' Canceled After One Season at Netflix

    “No Good Nick” has been canceled at Netflix after only a single season, which was split into two parts, Variety has confirmed. Created and executive produced by David H. Steinberg and Keetgi Kogan, the multi-camera comedy starred Melissa Joan Hart and Sean Astin as Liz and Ed, a hyper-competitive career mom and lovable but dorky “fun dad,” [...]

  • Hailee Steinfeld Sets New Single Tied

    Hailee Steinfeld Announces New Single Tied to Apple TV Plus' 'Dickinson'

    Actress, singer and producer Hailee Steinfeld is set to release a new single entitled “Afterlife” on Sept. 19, a track she created for her upcoming Apple TV Plus series,”Dickinson.” “This is a song I’m incredibly proud of, and I feel like after embodying this character, I have a more fearless approach to my writing,” Steinfeld [...]

  • Rachel Bloom

    Rachel Bloom Announces Pregnancy After Emmy Win

    “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” star Rachel Bloom made a special announcement after winning her Emmy for best original music and lyrics — she is pregnant. Bloom announced the news backstage on Saturday at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards. She joked she had planned to reveal the news on Instagram but that doing it at the Emmys was even [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content