Game of Thrones helps boost Sky customer numbers by 51 per cent

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"There's nothing wrong with Mr Murdoch - but it is because of the name".

Bradley will appear at a select committee hearing on Wednesday, while Sky is to face shareholders for its annual general meeting on Thursday.

On pay, Sky also suffered a bloody nose as 63.7% of independent investors voted against the company's remuneration report.

While just under 71% of investors voting did so in favour of the report, some 29% voted against approving the report.

In a stock exchange announcement detailing the AGM vote, Sky said: "The board is pleased that the majority of resolutions have been passed with a high level of support from shareholders".

One angry shareholder argued that the deal would not go through if James Murdoch remained in his post.

In response, Martin Gilbert, Sky's deputy chairman, pointed out that Sky's board had formed an independent committee to evaluate the terms of 21st Century Fox's takeover, which he said had met 11 times since the takeover approach was tabled in December previous year.

Additionally Conservative MP, Rebecca Pow asked whether the regulator had sufficiently scrutinised the deal, White said: "I am absolutely confident we did a professional, independent, expert job".

Sky confirmed in its annual report last month that chief executive Jeremy Darroch's total annual pay packet more than trebled to £16.3m (€18.1m) past year despite annual profits being hit by the cost of broadcasting live Premier League football.

On Tuesday, the Competition and Markets Authority outlined the scope of its inquiry into how the deal would affect United Kingdom media plurality and broadcasting standards, and invited submissions for the six-month investigation.

Announcing group results for the three months ending September 30, Sky said that it added 160,000 new customers - 90,000 in Germany and Austria, and 70,000 in the United Kingdom (though figures were flat in Italy) - spurred by strong campaigns in all markets around Game of Thrones.

Sky said it added 160,000 new customers in its first quarter, which marks a 51% rise on a year earlier.

The company said fantasy drama Game of Thrones had become "the most watched series ever on Sky", while its home-grown drama Riviera achieved 20 million downloads in the period.

Mr Darroch said: "We've had a strong start to our new financial year with good revenue growth and excellent profit growth as investments we've made come through".

"21st Century Fox (21CF) welcomes the publication by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) of the Issues Statement".