James Murdoch discusses 21CF’s global culture, Sky, more at Deloitte and Enders Media & Telecoms conference in U.K.


At the Deloitte and Enders Media & Telecoms conference in London today, 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch talked about the history of 21CF, important industry trends, the proposed combination of 21CF and Sky, and more. During his session, James spoke with Channel 4 CEO David Abraham.

“We work every day at 21CF to make a place where a diverse range of creators can do the best work of their lives,” James said in his remarks. “And we’re proud of our track record backing their bold visions. We’re trying to build a business of ideas that can thrive in a new and vastly competitive environment, and to do it in a way that for the next hundred years will help define what an enterprise committed to creativity, to innovation, and to its customers, can achieve.”

Here are some other quotes from James’ remarks at the conference:

  • “[This] desire to create choice and serve customers and viewers better, come from the same place. And I would argue that there has been no other firm so committed, in deeds, to increasing plurality across the markets we operate in.”
  • “Perhaps because of our roots in Australia and then the U.K., this restlessness and comfort with roaming remains pretty unique. We have always taken a different view of what it means to be a global business, and every day we make choices about where to invest, where we can create experiences that matter to customers and where we can create long-term value for our shareholders.”
  • “We are in an era of ultimate plurality, where choices, sources and access are multiplied, even from where we were only five years ago. So first and foremost, we need to be making better things all the time: better stories, better products, better experiences for our customers. We’re immensely proud of the creative achievements of the business and of the momentum that we have at each of our brands.”
  • “Our business has been an expression of the technological advances shaping our industry – from silent movies to talkies, from feature film exhibition to broadcast television, and from broadcast to multichannel cable and satellite TV. And the underlying technological advances today – ubiquitous high-speed connectivity, a continued proliferation of end-user connected displays and the potential for unfettered access to creative assets in the cloud for customers globally – presents an opportunity for accelerated growth for new and existing video creators and platforms. We think this is only just the beginning, and the combination of strengths required to operate a high-volume, high-quality content business and a vast international video platform is precisely the combination of strengths that we’re developing.”
  • “The U.K.’s creative economy stands tall on the world stage. The films and television stamped ‘Made in the UK’ have global resonance – shorthand for storytelling that is smart, that is often a touch off-center but always on point. But past performance is no guarantee of future results. Every day we see new entrants armed with fresh capital and a predisposition for disruption. And yet, it is this country’s balanced creative economy, with strong public service output, a vibrant commercial sector and a diverse and independent tradition of impartial news that adds up to an environment for innovation and growth that we believe outpunches many larger markets.”
  • “Sky today is everything a great creative company should be:  it is imbued with a culture that nurtures ingenuity and innovation; it has reach, it has room to grow, and it has worked diligently to become one of Europe’s great, trusted brands powered by a distinctive creative outlook.”
  • “Looking to the future, we’re confident the enhanced scale and capabilities of the combined company will be a powerful driver of the creative industry’s vibrancy in Britain, plus in Italy, and in Germany, and in the global market, and a provider of better experiences for customers everywhere. And to do this at scale, which this combination enables, ensures that the Sky business can continue to compete within a competitive set that now includes some of the largest companies in the world, but none of whom have the local depth of investment and commitment to the U.K. and to Europe.”
  • “I’m mindful of what large companies mean – to their communities, to their customers and to their shareholders – and it’s important to advance, in the interest of all stakeholders, an agenda that can benefit the greatest number. When we launched the Bigger Picture initiative at Sky, we articulated an aspiration for us to be better – for companies to be better and to behave in the way that we imagined we would want to and be expected to in the future. This wasn’t a question of corporate penance through CSR, but rather an idea that the investment and enterprise that a firm can actually make would actually be – in and of itself – more than simply a driver of profit.”

Read James’ full remarks at the Deloitte and Enders Media & Telecoms conference.