Hunt will take more time over BSkyB decision

UK culture secretary Jeremy Hunt will take more time before deciding whether to give the green light to News Corp’s proposed takeover of pay TV operator BSkyB after receiving over 40,000 submissions to its consultation on the deal.

Hunt told journalists at a Broadcasting Press Guild meeting that he had not set a deadline to make a decision and wanted to be certain that any agreement on the future of Sky News was financially sustainable in the long term.

News Corp has proposed spinning off the 24-hour news channel to assuage concerns about the impact of the takeover on media plurality in the UK. However, critics have argued that the independence of Sky News would be compromised by its reliance on a long-term contract with a single customer. Hunt said that the proposed licensing agreement between Sky and the news channel needed to be examined more closely.