Twenty First Century Fox has said it could sell Sky News to Disney as one of two potential options it is examining in a bid to ease plurality concerns surrounding its take-over of Sky.
In a submission to the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Fox said Disney, which launched a bid back in December to acquire Fox for $52.4 billion, had expressed an interest in buying Sky News regardless of whether its acquisition of the overall company goes ahead.
Another option the company proposed was ring-fencing Sky News from the rest of Sky and establishing it as a distinct company. Fox also guaranteed to fund Sky News for 15 years and create an independent board.
The CMA said in January that Fox's proposed £11.7 billion take-over of the remaining 60.9 percent of Sky that it does not own was not in the public interest.
The regulator found that the deal would give the Murdoch family, which owns a 39 percent stake in Fox and News Corp, publisher of the Sun and the Times, too much control over UK media.
The CMA had been tasked by the UK Culture Secretary to investigate whether the deal should be blocked.
“We remain committed to working with the CMA to find remedies that will ensure the continued editorial independence of Sky News,” Fox said in a statement.
“We will continue to work with the regulator, and then the Secretary of State at the appropriate time, and leave open the possibility to pursue all of our legal options if necessary.”
Meanwhile, Sky Italy has signed a deal with Open Fiber to launch an internet-only TV service over FTTH.
The opco already offers its services over satellite.
The new fibre solution will be available from this summer.
It accompanied a new agreement with Mediaset that allows Sky Italy to broadcast five cinema and four TV series channels currently only available on Mediaset Premium.
The launch date for the tie-up was not announced.
Sky will also rent bandwidth from Mediaset subsidiary Ei Towers to deliver a DTT-based pay-TV offer, which will combine these channels with Sky and Fox content.
Customers will also have the option to add Sky Sports channels to the offering.
This package will be available in June.