×

News Corp. and Telstra’s Foxtel to Merge With Fox Sports Australia

Foxtel and Fox Sports Australia are set to be combined into a new premium pay-TV sports and entertainment company Down Under, a move designed to pave the way for an eventual IPO.

Parent companies Telstra and News Corp. announced the merger Thursday, saying the combined entity would align ownership and management and offer Australian consumers greater choice. The companies aim to complete the transaction in the first half of 2018, subject to the necessary regulatory approval.

News Corp. CEO Robert Thomson said the proposed restructuring of the two companies would “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,” Thomson said in a statement. “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.”

Under the arrangement News Corp. will hold a 65% share in the new company, with Telstra taking the remaining 35%. News Corp. will select its chairman as well as the majority of its board and senior executives.

Pay-TV company Foxtel was set up as a 50-50 joint venture between News Corp. and Telstra in 1995. That same year, News Corp. launched Fox Sports Australia, which was originally called the Premier Sports Network.

The new company will aim to deliver premium sports as well as original Australian and international entertainment. It will invest in new Australian programming, written, directed and produced by local talent, as well as continue to invest in premium international content and new technology to match consumer demand. This includes delivering a range of innovative products and packages available across different devices and platforms.

“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,” said Andy Penn, CEO of Telstra. “With a strong premium content proposition and scale subscriber base, the new company will be well positioned to deliver a compelling customer experience.”

The new company will also expand distribution channels for the sale of Foxtel and Fox Sports products, intended to deliver improved operating efficiencies across the combined businesses.

More TV

  • Hugh GRant photographed by Shayan Asgharnia

    Listen: Hugh Grant on Why He Would Kill Social Media if He Could

    Hugh Grant has been very active in U.K. press reform initiatives, but he knows the problem is even bigger than the media moguls who control the world’s major news outlets. That’s why Hacked Off, the campaign he’s involved with, is also expanding its scope to include the impact of online propaganda. “It’s particularly terrifying, the [...]

  • Veronica Mars -- "Heads You Lose"

    TV Review: 'Veronica Mars' Season 4

    “Veronica Mars” was a slap to the face of high school dramas when it premiered on UPN in 2004. Creator Rob Thomas took the well-worn “who killed the pretty teenager?” whodunnit and hard-boiled it, following a traumatized girl desperately trying to harden herself to the world’s harsh realities as she tried to solve the case. [...]

  • Norah O'Donnell Invokes Edward R. Murrow

    Norah O'Donnell Invokes Edward R. Murrow to Launch New Era at 'CBS Evening News'

    Though Norah O’Donnell had her first turn as anchor of “CBS Evening News” Monday night, she didn’t rely on any attention-grabbing tricks to carry the day. There was no flashy drawing board, no rattling off of unsettling, urgent headlines and no wrap-up of the day with a mawkish end segment calling up some element of [...]

  • Alton Brown

    TV News Roundup: Food Network Announces Premiere Date of 'Good Eats: The Return'

    In today’s roundup, Showtime releases a full-length trailer for “On Becoming a God in Central Florida” and Food Network announces the return of Alton Brown’s “Good Eats.”  DATES After taking a break from the series, Alton Brown will bring “Good Eats” back to Food Network’s primetime lineup with “Good Eats: The Return.”  In its first [...]

  • 9-1-1: Angela Bassett in the series

    Fox Sees Primetime, Sports Ad Gains As TV Upfront Wraps

    Fox Corporation is the latest to benefit from stronger-than-expected trends in TV ad spending, as the company notched strong gains in advertising commitments for its next cycle of programming – its first since selling off a large chunk of its media assets to Walt Disney. Ad demand was stronger than many executives anticipated, according to [...]

  • Charles Levin Obit

    Missing 'Seinfeld' Actor Charles Levin's Body Believed to be Found

    Oregon authorities believe they have found the body of the missing “Seinfeld” actor Charles Levin. He was 70 years old. According to Associated Press, Levin’s son reported the actor missing from Grants Pass on July 8. On July 12, search and rescue teams determined a search area in a remote area northeast of Selma with [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content