Following the December 2017 announcement by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) that it had decided to not oppose the proposed merger of FOX SPORTS and Foxtel after finding the transaction would not substantially lessen competition, News Corp and Telstra have signed definitive agreements to combine Foxtel and FOX SPORTS Australia, which they say will deliver premium and innovative content to Australians with ever greater quality, variety and efficiency.
The key commercial arrangements include:
News Corp will have 65 per cent shareholding in the combined entity and Telstra will have 35 per cent.
The combined company will provide Australian viewers with the best possible experiences by:
“The launch of the combined company will mark the dawn of a new era for our Australian business, and Foxtel and FOX SPORTS Australia will together be a formidable force,” declared News Corp Chief Executive Robert Thomson. “We will be able to use our powerful media platforms to promote the unique sports and entertainment assets in the two companies, and improve services for consumers and advertisers. Patrick Delany and his talented team will be absolutely focused on serving viewers compelling, contemporary Australian content and superlative sports coverage on personalised platforms.” Delany will be Chief Executive Officer of the combined company.
Telstra CEO Andy Penn said the combination of Foxtel and FOX SPORTS Australia with their content assets would position the company to strongly compete in the dynamic media market, and it would continue to be an important part of Telstra’s media strategy. “Our customers are streaming more and more sport and entertainment on their TV at home and on their mobile devices while on the move. Telstra will be the exclusive telco sales agent for the combined entity on mobile and IP products and we will continue with our broadcast reseller arrangements.”
“Under the leadership of Patrick Delany, this company will provide the exclusive and quality content that Australian consumers demand and expect. It will broadcast and stream in the most exciting, innovative and engaging ways across all platforms,” added News Corp Australasia Executive Chairman Michael Miller.
The transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter of Fiscal Year 2018.