Ofcom has set up a team - Project Apple - to assess whether BSkyB should still hold its broadcasting licence in light of the phone hacking scandal.
The specialist unit was established in January and is probing whether the pay-TV operator is “fit and proper” to own a broadcasting licence – according to a freedom of information request filed by the Financial Times.
BSkyB has over 10m UK TV customers and operates channels such as Sky1, Sky Living and Sky Arts as well as Sky Movies and Sky Sports.
The team will look at evidence of phone hacking and payments to police which emerges as a result of the Leveson inquiry.
Chairman James Murdoch and News Corp, which holds a 39.1% controlling stake in BskyB, are both being considered as part of the heightened scrutiny.
Ofcom decided to establish the team after discussions with politicians and the police. A decision into whether BskyB is ‘fit and proper’ is not expected to be made until the Leveson inquiry finishes.
The inquiry, established to look into press standards and ethics, was launched after phone hacking was uncovered at the News of the World, owned by News International the UK publisher of News Corp.
James Murdoch stepped down as chairman of News International on 29 February, but still remains chairman of BskyB – another subsidiary of American News Corp.
This article was originally published by Broadcast.