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News Corp acquires Sky News

News Corp has bought out Seven and Nine to acquire the parent company of Sky News Australia, Australian News Channel.

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The move – which has been widely tipped  – sees Sky News come 100% under News Corp ownership having started life as a joint venture between Seven, Nine and the News Corp-aligned BSkyB, which owns Sky News in the UK.

News Corp executive chairman, Michael Miller, said in a statement: “This is a significant investment that reinforces News Corp Australia’s continued commitment to quality journalism, talent and content.

“This acquisition has come about because News Corp Australia recognises the increasing value of Sky News; its employees, the shows they host and the audience it attracts. Together, we will ensure the strengths and benefits of each company are leveraged fully in the long term.”

No price has been revealed, although News Corp’s The Australian suggests the deal was worth $20m. The deal also covers Sky News Business, Sky News Weather and the APAC public affairs channel.

Australian News Channel CEO, Angelos Frangopolous, said: “Today marks an exciting new chapter in the 20-year history of Australian News Channel.

“We are now within a global business forged by quality journalism and I can’t think of a better partner to invest and grow Sky News. The industry is rapidly changing and today’s announcement goes beyond securing the future of this company – it means it will be playing a significant role.”

The move had been widely expected, with the news channel’s carriage agreement with Foxtel – which is 50% owned by News Corp – due to expire in a few months’ time. As the deadline loomed, the risk for Seven and Nine was for News Corp to launch a new news channel and for the value of Sky News to drop to zero.

The deal comes weeks after News Corp agreed to sell WA’s The Sunday Times to Seven West Media.

Recent months have seen Sky News’ post-7:00pm output increasingly follow a similar right-leaning agenda to News Corp’s newspapers, with commentators drawn from the publications. In the US, sister company 21st Century Fox owns the stridently right wing news network Fox News.

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