Although the roll out of NBC Sky World News has been delayed amid the coronavirus crisis, NBC has proceeded to sell its 25% stake in EuroNews, the pay-TV group headquartered in France, Variety has confirmed.
NBC’s stake in EuroNews was acquired by Naguib Sawiris’ Media Globe Networks, who has been a majority shareholder in the broadcaster with 63% since 2015.
The deal, signed April 15, now gives the Egyptian billionaire an 88% stake in EuroNews. Beyond this transfer of shares between NBC and Media Globe Networks there are no other changes to the shareholders structure of the broadcaster, a EuroNews spokesperson said.
NBC bought into EuroNews in 2017 and in the last two years, EuroNews saw its ad revenue grow by 50%.
The Comcast-backed broadcaster is now divesting its shares in EuroNews as it prepares to launch NBC Sky World News with its pan-European sister company Sky, also owned by Comcast.
Currently placed on hold due to the pandemic, NBC Sky World News will be headquartered in London.
As previously reported, NBC Sky World News was borne out of Comcast’s 2018 gain of control in Sky for around $39 billion, and a desire to marshal resources from both NBC News and Sky News to vie in new markets with other news organizations that do a sizable business with English-speaking consumers in international regions.
The remaining 12% stake in EuroNews is still owned by European public broadcasters, including Rai and France Televisions. EuroNews, which includes 12 cross-platform language editions, ranks as a leading international news channel in the continent.
NBC’s sale of its EuroNews stake was first reported by the Financial Times.