Foxtel owners News Corp and Telstra agree to Sky News deal

Sky News confirmed this afternoon Foxtel owners Telstra and News Corp have reached an agreement over carriage fees for the news service, allowing it to stay on air.

Mumbrella understands the two companies failed to reached an agreement before the deal’s expiry on December 31 last year, but new terms have now been agreed and will be finalised in due course.



A spokesperson for Sky News confirmed this afternoon: “Telstra has agreed to new terms.”

It comes after weeks of negotiations on the fees, which Mumbrella understands hadn’t changed in more than a decade.

Late last year, Sky News – which is now 100% owned by News Corp – had proposed an increase in annual carriage fees paid by Foxtel, which Mumbrella understands stood at just over $30m.

At the time of negotiations, it was understood a failure to meet an agreement could stall the planned Foxtel and Fox Sports merger deal.

The merger proposal would see News Corp hold 65% of the merged entity, compared to Telstra’s 35%. The plan was intended to allow for shares in the combined Foxtel – Fox Sports offering to potentially be floated on the ASX.

Late last year, Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox  agreed to sell most of its entertainment assets to Disney Co. Murdoch’s returned focus on the news business raised questions about whether News Corp would still want the merger to go ahead.

Both News Corp and Telstra could not confirm whether the Foxtel and Fox Sports merger was affected by the developments at the time of publication.



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