What Does Sky Look Like With Comcast at the Controls? (Analysis)

Variety | 9/26/2018 | Stewart Clarke
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With its takeover of highly successful pay-TV service Sky now almost assured, Comcast is not expected to do anything to upset its new golden goose. But a change in culture seems inevitable, and possibly in management.

Comcast sees enough to like in Sky to shell out $40 billion and is expected to retain much of the team that has built the business. It would also be a PR misstep to make wholesale changes. “It wouldn’t be a good look if they have taken over one of the biggest TV companies in Europe and take out the European management,” said Tim Westcott, director of research and analysis at IHS Markit.

Question - CEO - Jeremy - Darroch - Sky

A key question, however, is whether CEO Jeremy Darroch will stay on. A longtime Sky exec, Darroch is credited with keeping the company profitable and cutting-edge in a fast-changing media landscape, and with shepherding it through its protracted sale, which culminated in an auction last Saturday. “Darroch has said he has been overseeing this process for the last few years, and that maybe indicates questions about his replacement have begun as well,” said Guy Bisson of Ampere Analysis. “It wouldn’t be unexpected if he moved on.”

Whether he stays or goes, Darroch is set to pocket tens of millions of pounds when the deal closes.

Execs - Staff - Analysts - Job - Losses

As for other execs and staff, analysts agree that some job losses at Sky are likely, to eliminate duplication within Comcast, but that the overlap is limited. In terms of program sales, there is some overlap between Sky Vision, which is growing under Jane Millichip, and NBCUniversal’s international distribution arm, which Belinda Menendez oversees. Both Sky and Comcast also operate a swath of pay-TV channels.

As part of the Comcast family, Sky is expected to capitalize on programming and tech cooperation with its new parent, which will seek to keep it...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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