BSkyB allowed to retain broadcast license

The UK media regulator has ruled that British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc could keep its broadcast license, even as it criticised board member James Murdoch's reaction to phone-hacking revelations at News Corp, which owns 39 per cent of the country's biggest pay-TV operator.

Ofcom said yesterday that it considered James Murdoch's conduct, including his failure to initiate action on his own account on a number of occasions, to be both difficult to comprehend and ill-judged.
Following the scandal, News Corp deputy chief operating officer James Murdoch resigned first as chairman of News Corp's UK newspaper arm and then as chairman of BSkyB.

News Corp has been trying to move on after a hacking scandal surfaced last year following reports that one of its UK newspapers accessed the voice mail of politicians, celebrities and a murdered teenager.  With Ofcom's decision BSkyB can distance itself from the scandal at News Corp according to analysts.

News Corp was forced to drop its £7.8-billion bid to take control of BSkyB last year in the face of severe attacks from British politicians questioning its fitness as allegations were leveled of hacked phones and computers and bribed public official.

''After a lengthy review process, we are pleased that Ofcom has now reached its conclusion and we look forward to continuing to develop our business,'' BSkyB said in a statement.

Murdoch, who had earlier served as CEO of BSkyB, oversaw News Corp's newspaper group even as the company repeatedly denied that widespread hacking had taken place.