×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Comcast Closes Deal for Fox’s Sky Stake, Owns Over 75% of European Pay-TV Giant

James Murdoch resigns from Sky board in wake of announcement

Comcast said Tuesday that it now owns more than 75% of Sky having acquired shares and closed a deal for Fox’s 39.1% stake in the pay-TV giant. The process of delisting Sky from the London Stock Exchange will now get underway and is set to be completed by Nov. 7. James Murdoch is among those who have resigned from the board in the wake of Fox selling its stake.

“We are pleased today to be the majority owner of Sky,” Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts said in a statement. “Led by Jeremy Darroch and his superb team – now together with Comcast – our combined global leadership in technology and content paves the way for us to accelerate investment and growth in Sky’s brand and premier platforms.”

In the same week that U.K. culture secretary Jeremy Wright underlined his expectations regarding the Sky News channel after the change of ownership – “I’ve left them in no doubt at all about the importance of editorial independence and Sky News,” he said – Roberts addressed the issue.

“We are also fully committed to ensuring Sky News’ future, maintaining its editorial independence, and preserving its strong track record for trusted, high quality, impartial news,” he said.

Comcast said the independent Sky board, including CEO Jeremy Darroch, have sold their shares in the company to its new owner, which currently holds 76.84% of Sky stock. Its £17.28 per share offer remains open and will do so until Comcast gives 14 days’ notice to the contrary.

“Comcast have committed to investment in Sky, including our Osterley and European headquarters and we very much look forward to working with Brian and the Comcast team to achieve further growth and development of Sky’s business,” Darroch said in a statement.

He also spoke about Sky’s news network. “Separately, Sky News will benefit greatly from Comcast’s funding commitments over the coming years and the arrangements that will be put in place to preserve and enhance its editorial independence,” he said.

With Fox offloading its stake, James Murdoch, a former Sky CEO, has resigned from the board of Sky. Chase Carey has also left the board, as have Martin Gilbert, Andy Sukawaty, Tracy Clarke, and Katrin Wehr-Seiter. Sky said that Matthieu Pigasse and Adine Grate have agreed to remain on the board for the time being.  James Conyers, Sky’s group general counsel, has joined the board.

Comcast prevailed in the twist-laden battle for control for Sky with a bumper $39 billion bid. It beat Fox in a dramatic blind auction for Sky, which has major operations in the U.K. and Ireland, Austria and Germany, and Italy. It has also launched streaming services in Switzerland and Spain.

More TV

  • Bob GreenblattCreating Great Characters: Dick Wolf

    Bob Greenblatt on WarnerMedia Streaming Strategy: 'The Assets are Undeniable'

    CANNES — AT&T is ready for battle in the streaming wars. The new parent company of HBO and Warner Bros. has moved quickly to respond to consumer demand by marshaling its forces behind the launch next spring of HBO Max, WarnerMedia Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt told a crowd of international TV and digital executives here [...]

  • Roberto Gomez Bolanos Mexican actor Roberto

    Chespirito Media Universe in Development from Grupo Chespirito, Thr3 Media Group

    Mexican production companies Grupo Chespirito and Thr3 Media Group have come to terms on a deal to co-produce multi-media content and create the Chespirito Media Universe based on the characters and world of Mexico and Latin America’s most iconic TV creator, director, producer and actor, Chespirito. Thr3 Media Group was launched in January 2018 by [...]

  • Bastian-and-Fabienne_2btube-Office-1

    2btube Adds Lacoproductora to Facebook, YouTube Originals Alliances

    CANNES —  Fast-driving from a huge digital media publishing base into the creation and production of premium content for global platforms and beyond, top Spanish-language digital native media group 2btube has clinched a wide-ranging production partnership with José Miguel Contreras’ Madrid-based Lacoproductora. The deal comes fast on the heels of 2btube’s production alliance with Facebook [...]

  • LA-CHICA-QUE-LIMPIA-PICTURE

    Spain's Fasten Films Nabs Remake Rights to Argentine Series 'The Cleaning Lady' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Barcelona-based company Fasten Films has optioned Spanish and Portuguese adaptation rights to Argentine suspense series “La chica que limpia” (“The Cleaning Lady”). The deal was negotiated with Argentine distributors RM Vistar and GlowStar, who jointly handle the format’s international sales. A Mexican remake of the series is being produced by Turner Latin America, alongside BTF [...]

  • Motiv: Max ConzeFoto: © ProSiebenSat.1/Martin SaumweberDieses

    ProSiebenSat.1 Boss Max Conze Unfazed By the Invasion of the Digital Streaming Giants

    Max Conze, CEO of German broadcast company ProSiebenSat.1 since June last year, appeared relatively relaxed about the prospect of the coming invasion of new subscription streaming players like Disney Plus into his territory when speaking to journalists at TV market and conference Mipcom in Cannes Tuesday. “Disney will not lock away all their content,” he [...]

  • Irmaos Freitas

    Amazon Prime Video takes Turner’s ‘Freitas Brothers’

    CANNES — In yet another – and significant – Latin America distribution deal for the now highly active OTT giant, Amazon Prime Video has acquired Brazilian and pan-Spanish-speaking Latin American SVOD rights to Turner Latin America’s highly anticipated “Freitas Brothers.” The announcement was made late Tuesday by Turner Latin America at Cannes Mipcom TV and [...]

  • Tulsi Gabbard, Tom Steyer, Cory Booker,

    Nonsense Ellen DeGeneres Question Derails an Otherwise Substantive Democratic Debate (Column)

    The fourth Democratic debate was dangerously close to being substantive. For almost three (3!) hours, the twelve (12!) candidates onstage tackled questions on foreign policy, reproductive rights, health care, gun control, big tech, and the opioid crisis. While the other debates — and indeed, the entire 2016 presidential campaign — have been marked by meme-able [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content