Fox is offering to sell Sky News channel to Disney to ease its acquisition of British pay-TV platform Sky. According to 21st Century Fox, Walt Disney Co. could acquire Sky News and this acquisition will help smooth its proposed $15-billion takeover of satcaster Sky past British regulators.
Since opponents have suggested that a U.K.-based news channel is not under fit and proper owner that is 21st Century Fox, Sky News has become an essential part of the takeover deal bid. The new offering is focusing on broadcasting standards and plurality concerns for the Sky News.
The Murdoch-controlled Hollywood studio is interested to turn Sky News into a single legal entity that would be moved to Disney as soon as 21st Century Fox’s possession of Sky has come to the end. Murdoch previously planned to buy the 61 percent of Sky that Fox doesn’t own to sell Fox’s media businesses to Disney.
Disney issued its own statement saying, “To secure CMA approval, Fox has proposed to the CMA that it would divest Sky News to Disney as a condition of Fox’s acquisition of the remainder of Sky.” It also added, “If the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport agrees, and Fox acquires Sky, Disney would buy Sky News and agree to sustain the operating capital of Sky News and maintain its editorial independence.”
Sky reacted to the latest remedies offered and said that it believes that both these offers ultimately address particular plurality concerns the CMA may have and would promise the upcoming future of Sky News and its ongoing editorial independence.