Foxtel & Fox SPORTS Australia to Merge


Telstra and News Corp are planning to combine Foxtel and Fox SPORTS Australia into a new company focused on premium sports and entertainment.

News Corp will have 65 percent shareholding in the new company and Telstra will hold 35 percent. News Corp will appoint the chairman, the majority of the new company’s board and senior executives, while Telstra will appoint the remaining directors.

The combined company will be investing in Australian written, produced and directed programming. It will also aim to expand distribution channels for the sale of Foxtel and Fox SPORTS products, and develop greater operating efficiencies across the combined businesses, including distribution.

Pending regulatory approval, the transaction should be completed in the first half of 2018.

Telstra CEO Andy Penn commented: “Our strategically significant investment in the new company will be an important part of Telstra’s media strategy.”

“Under this arrangement, Telstra will continue to support the company with our broadcast reseller arrangements which are a major strategic component for us.

“More people are watching more media on more devices for more hours every day of the week, so the demand for media and for content is only going to grow. With a strong premium content proposition and scale subscriber base, the new company will be well positioned to deliver a compelling customer experience.”

News Corp Chief Executive Robert Thomson said: “The proposed restructuring of Foxtel and Fox SPORTS will unlock value for News Corp shareholders and provide a clearer vision into the depth and strength of our Australian assets. The new structure will simplify management control and ensure that the company is best placed to leverage the skills of its talented Australian employees and program makers.

“There is no doubt that the world of content is becoming more complicated and competitive, and it is important that Australia has a strong local platform for its great sports and for homegrown creativity, as well as a showcase for international programs.”