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Sky TV hires Deloitte partner as fill-in CFO

Sky TV hires Deloitte partner as fill-in CFO

By Paul McBeth

March 22 (BusinessDesk) - Sky Network Television has hired Deloitte Audit & Advisory partner Andrew Dick as interim chief financial officer while the pay-TV operator seeks a replacement for veteran Jason Hollingworth.

The appointment is effective immediately, with Dick operating in a part-time capacity while the company recruits a new CFO, the broadcaster said. Dick is filling the gap left by Hollingworth, who resigned last week to take up the vacant CFO role at lines company Vector. Hollingworth was to leave the company on May 21.

Sky's auditor is PwC.

Dick will work with new chief executive Martin Stewart, who has been on the media circuit this week, giving interviews indicating where he wants to take the troubled broadcaster.

Sky has been shedding subscribers in recent years as consumers embrace cheaper online streaming services. It's also lost its grip on premium sports with Spark New Zealand mounting a successful raid on rights for the Rugby World Cup, Formula One motor racing, English Premier League football, and NBA basketball.

Stewart told local media that sports rights will be a key component of the company's future and that he wants a greater emphasis on the streaming side of the business.

Stewart was CFO at BSkyB in the UK between 1998 and 2004, a period when the media group doubled its subscriber base, and has experience in sports - a key attraction for Sky TV subscribers. He was CFO of the Football Association and a board member of the London organising committee for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games.

More recently, Stewart led Dubai-based OSN where he oversaw the introduction of a new online platform and focused on improving the firm's digital infrastructure.

Sky's shares slumped to a record low $1.25 on March 12. While the stock's recovered to recently trade at $1.36, it's still well off the $6.95 peak in September 2014.

Institutional investors are divided on the company's outlook. US fund manager BlackRock dumped most of its stake, holding 1.9 percent as at March 20, from 8.2 percent a year earlier, while ACC's investment vehicle today disclosed it had amassed a 5.2 percent stake.

(BusinessDesk)

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