Saturday, 21 April, 2018

Disney makes offer for Sky News

CREDIT Sky  HBO CREDIT Sky HBO
Elsie Buchanan | 04 April, 2018, 01:05

21st Century Fox Inc.is offering to sell Sky News to Walt Disney Co.as it seeks to win over United Kingdom regulators reviewing its 11.7 billion-pound (US$16.5 billion) bid for broadcaster Sky Plc.

The media giant said either remedy should assuage concerns about the channel's editorial independence after the CMA said its proposed deal for the 61pc of Sky it doesn't already own would not be in the public interest because of Mr Murdoch's control of other news outlets including The Sun and The Times. In fact, we believe that the enhanced firewall remedies we proposed to safeguard the editorial independence of Sky News addressed comprehensively and constructively the CMA's provisional concerns.

"We offered this even though the record before the CMA shows that, over the course of almost 30 years as Sky's founding shareholder, neither Fox, nor the Murdoch Family Trust, have ever sought to influence the editorial direction of Sky News".

Disney could acquire Sky News in the United Kingdom to help smooth 21st Century Fox's acquisition of British pay-TV platform Sky.

One proposal is that The Walt Disney Company could take over Sky News. 21st Century Fox said it plans to fund Sky News for 15 years.

In the absence of an outright sale of Sky News to Disney, Fox offers a full legal separation of Sky News from the rest of Sky.

Even if Fox's proposals satisfy Britain's government and competition regulator, however, it may still need to raise its recommended offer for Sky after USA cable group Comcast Corp said it meant to make a higher counter-bid. Twenty-First Century offered this even though the record before the CMA shows that, over the course of almost 30 years as Sky's founding shareholder, neither Twenty-First Century, nor the Murdoch Family Trust, have ever sought to influence the editorial direction of Sky News.

Trump defends rightwing TV network Sinclair after 'fake news' script goes viral
Not wanting to see his work appropriated by someone else, Burke said he rushed to get the full video posted Saturday afternoon. No media company-not even Fox News-has done more to ingratiate itself to the Trump administration than Sinclair.


They added: "We are aware that a group of politicians that is opposed to the transaction is seeking to influence the CMA and is making a number of unsupported and fanciful assertions".

A Statement from 21st Century Fox said: "We have worked diligently with the CMA throughout its extensive review".

It added: "The divestment of Sky News to Disney is separate from, and not conditional on, Disney's acquisition of Fox".

Analysts Liberum Capital said the Fox remedies "should be adequate" to overcome the regulator's media plurality concerns. Sky News would be transferred to this new company, which would have its own management and independent board.

"More importantly, we think the news and today's comments from Sky point to a revised bid from Fox/Disney to trump Comcast's 1250p bid", they said.

Comcast's offer of 12.50 pounds per Sky share exceeds a 10.75-pound offer by Fox. The principle reason behind this was broadcasting standards and plurality concerns.

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