Fox to pay off notes

Redemption to take place Aug. 15

News Corp.’s Fox Entertainment Group said its Fox Sports Networks and Fox Sports Net Finance units will redeem $405 million of senior discount notes and $500 million of senior notes next month.

The redemption is a “reflection of the health of Fox’s business and the strength of News Corp.’s balance sheet,” spokesman Nicholas Weinstock said. “This (paying down debt) is what (Rupert) Murdoch said he wanted to do with our record cash flow.”

Murdoch is chairman and chief executive officer of News Corp. and Fox Entertainment Group, which is 85% owned by News Corp. The redemption will take place Aug. 15, Fox Entertainment said, and it will be handled by Bank of New York Co. Both types of notes are due in 2007.

Shares of New York-based Fox Entertainment fell $1.39, or 6.6%, to $19.66 Wednesday. They have fallen 26% this year.

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