Rupert Murdoch must increase Sky News budget to £100m

19 June, 2018, 19:25 | Author: Regina Silva
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In fact, the company made a prior offer before Disney and Fox announced any sort of deal back in December. The agreement focuses on how Sky plans to divest Sky News, and the assurances necessary for the news channel's long-term viability and editorial independence.

Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox must increase the funding of Sky News to at least £100m a year as a precondition of taking full control of Sky, the culture secretary has said.

If Disney ultimately proves to be the new owner of Sky News - Hancock has said the news unit could also be sold to an "alternative suitable buyer" - it will not be allowed to sell it off for 15 years unless the culture secretary approves a deal.

Image: Disney wants to buy the entertainment assets of Fox, which is Sky's largest shareholder.

"In my view, these revised undertakings ... will help to ensure that Sky News remains financially viable over the long term", said Hancock.

Disney has offered British authorities a commitment to operate and fund Sky News for 15 years and to refrain from selling it without the United Kingdom government's permission if Disney takes ownership of pan-European paybox Sky through various mergers and transactions.

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New installments in the ongoing Fox-Disney merger saga are becoming as numerous as the films the expanding MCU catalog itself, and with stock prices that fluctuate on news of this kind, there's more in play with Fox's choice of a suitor than the mere cash valuation of the offer it selects.

The takeover has been held up by a series of regulatory investigations, first by Ofcom, the telecoms and media regulator, and then by the Competition & Markets Authority.

It said at the beginning of April that it would continue funding Sky News for five years at the present level and for a further five years at a level "not materially different" from now.

Hancock's condition means that Fox will have to top up any shortfall in funding to keep Sky News's budget at £100m for the next 15 years.

As first reported by CNBC, Disney is expected to revise its original offer to purchase the majority of 21st Century Fox by adding cash to its bid.

Sky said this afternoon that it welcomed Mr Hancock's statement.

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