As part of 21st Century Fox’s bid to buy the part of Sky that they do not already own, they agreed to sell Sky News to Disney to assuage concerns of the Murdoch’s control over news in the UK. Today, Culture Secretary Matt Hancock revealed the results of his negotiations with Disney and 21st Century Fox.

Disney and 21st Century Fox Agreed to the Following:

  • A commitment from Disney to operate and maintain a Sky News branded news service for 15 years rather than 10 years
  • A restriction on Disney from selling Sky News for 15 years without the consent of the Secretary of State
  • An extension of the funding commitment from 21st Century Fox from 10 years to 15 years
  • An increase in the total funds available to Sky News, to at least £100m per year, with operating costs protected in real terms
  • A formal commitment from Disney to preserve the editorial independence of Sky News

In the Culture Secretary’s view, these revised undertakings meet the criteria that Sky News remains financially viable over the long term; is able to operate as a major UK-based news provider; and is able to take its editorial decisions independently, free from any potential outside influence.

The Culture Secretary will take opinions on the matter for 15 days (through July 4)

Things to Remember:

  • This deal is separate than the other deal for Disney to acquire most of 21st Century Fox’s assets
  • Comcast has also made a rival bid for the part of Sky that Fox does not own
  • If Disney buys 21st Century Fox, Sky News will be reunited with the rest of Sky
  • Comcast’s bid for Sky has no restrictions
  • It is unknown if 21st Century Fox will match Comcast’s offer for Sky
  • Sky News currently partners with ABC News for international coverage
  • No expected completion dates with either suitor have been announced by Sky


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