A report commissioned by BSkyB detailing the company’s economic footprint hopes to provide “a good example of the important contribution that a successful British company can make, particularly at a time when economic growth is harder to come by.” The report also comes at the same time as UK regulator Ofcom is deciding whether it is fit to hold a broadcast license in light of the scandals at News Corp-controlled newspapers. News Corp owns 39% of BSkyB and the consideration of whether a licensee is “fit and proper” takes into account any relevant misconduct of those who manage and control it.
In the meantime, the Oxford Economics study says a “conservative” estimate of BSkyB’s overall contribution to GDP in 2011 was £5.4B with a direct contribution of £2.2B. The report adds that for every £1B Sky contributes to the GDP, it generates another £1.4B across the rest of the UK economy “through its purchase of inputs of goods and services and staff spending their wages at retail and leisure outlets.” At the end of 2011, Sky employed 22,800 people — on a par with Google’s global employment at the end of 2010, the report claims. In 2010/2011, Sky directly contributed £941M to the taxman. Of that, £337M was corporation tax while it also collected a total of £604M through customers’ value added tax payments and staff labor taxes. In total, the report estimates Sky supports a £2.3B contribution to tax revenues — or £36 for every person in the UK.