News That Matters

Business

Sky signals the end of the satellite dish

Sky signals the end of the satellite dish

Business
Sky plans to make all its channels and content available online, meaning customers will no longer need a satellite dish on their property.The pay TV broadcaster already offers some programming online on its Sky Go and Now TV services.Sky called the move a "major development" that would reduce costs and allow it to enter new markets.It is a response to the move away from costly pay TV subscriptions in favour of streaming services such as Netflix.Italy will be its first market to get all Sky channels online, followed by Austria, with the UK expected to follow in 2019.The move will allow properties that cannot have a dish to get Sky, a spokesperson said. Customers will still need a Sky box, however.The broadcaster hopes making its channels available to more homes will increase both revenue an...
Atom Bank founder Thomson to step down

Atom Bank founder Thomson to step down

Business
The entrepreneur who set up Atom Bank, Britain's first app-based lender, is to step down as it finalises a £150m fundraising.Sky News has learnt that Anthony Thomson, who also spearheaded the launch of Metro Bank in 2010, has resigned as Atom's chairman.His departure, which is expected to be announced on Thursday, will see Mr Thomson replaced by Bridget Rosewell, one of the company's existing non-executive directors.Ms Rosewell is on the board of Network Rail and is a former non-executive at the Department of Work and Pensions and Ulster Bank.A source said that Mr Thomson had decided to leave Atom "now that it had gone from being a big idea to a small bank".He is said to be planning to focus on a number of other ventures, as well as a book project.The timing of his exit is intriguing, howe
Pay growth improves but joblessness stalls

Pay growth improves but joblessness stalls

Business
Annual pay growth has improved to 2.4% but the decline in UK unemployment slowed to a crawl, official figures show.The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported the upturn in regular average earnings - excluding bonuses - for the three months to November, up from the previous rate of 2.3%.It was a better than expected reading and the strongest since December 2016 - enough to send the pound above $ 1.41 against the US dollar, a fresh post-Brexit vote high.But pay growth was still trailing behind inflation, which has been running at around 3% in recent months.It meant that for the ninth month in a row, the ONS reported that pay was falling in real terms, this time down by 0.5%.Meanwhile the decline in unemployment slowed, with the jobless total down by just 3,000 to 1.439 million.The UK'...
Report: Pentagon skirted U.S. law on human rights abuses in Afghanistan

Report: Pentagon skirted U.S. law on human rights abuses in Afghanistan

Business
Jan. 23 (UPI) -- The U.S. agency overseeing Afghanistan reconstruction said in a report Tuesday that the State and Defense Departments skirted U.S. human rights laws by financially backing Afghan security forces accused of abuses.The report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction said that both departments sidestepped Leahy Laws, continuing funding despite credible allegations of "gross violations of human rights," including child rape.Leahy Laws prohibit the agencies from providing financial support and military assistance to foreign security forces that violate human rights with impunity.According to the report, the Pentagon used an exception meant for security and continued to provide "select training, equipment, and other assistance to some of the Afghan units...
Sky-Fox deal not in public interest, says regulator

Sky-Fox deal not in public interest, says regulator

Business
Fox's proposed takeover of Sky is not in the public interest on grounds of media plurality, the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has said.The CMA has provisionally found that if the deal went ahead as planned, it would give the Murdoch family too much control over news providers in the UK.However, the CMA found the deal would not be against the public interest on the grounds of broadcasting standards.Disney has agreed to buy most of Fox's business, so may end up owning Sky.Disney's proposed takeover, which still has to be approved by US regulators, includes Fox's current 39% stake in Sky.And if the Sky-Fox deal does finally go through, the whole of Sky would be likely to transfer to Disney's ownership.Wide influenceFox has been trying to buy the 61% of Sky that it does not curr...