The U.K.’s Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport has received commitments from The Walt Disney Company and 21st Century Fox over the future of Sky News as Fox works to close its takeover of Sky.
Secretary of State Matt Hancock said earlier this month that approval for the 21st Century Fox takeover of the pay-TV giant would be contingent upon the sale of Sky News. Disney has agreed in principle to buying the news organization and has said it will operate and maintain the service for 15 years rather than 10. In addition, Disney cannot sell Sky News for 15 years without the consent of the Secretary of State. The total funds available to Sky News would be upped to at least £100 million per year. Disney has also agreed to a formal commitment to “preserve the editorial independence” of Sky News.
Hancock said in a statement: “In my view, these revised undertakings meet the criteria that I set out to the House on June 5 and will help to ensure that Sky News remains financially viable over the long term; is able to operate as a major U.K.-based news provider; and is able to take its editorial decisions independently, free from any potential outside influence.”