Jul 31, 2014

What Murdoch really gets out of Time Warner (and it’s not Westeros)

Why does Rupert Murdoch want to buy Time Warner? It's not for HBO -- he might just want to take on a little American network called ESPN. Crikey business writers Paddy Manning and Glenn Dyer explain.

The recent US$80 billion bid by 21st Century Fox for Time Warner proves content is everything, but it’s not just the next Game of Thrones and Harry Potter that Rupert Murdoch is after.

Most commentary on the audacious bid has focused on Murdoch’s grab for content from Time Warner’s HBO cable TV network — perhaps the most successful in the world — and the Warner Bros movie studio in Hollywood. But sports programming is another key prong to the Murdoch strategy. Fox runs the most successful TV network in the US but has trailed competitors like Disney’s ESPN in sports programming in the vast north American market. ESPN is considered the most valuable media property in the world — the network broadcasts more than half of all live sports seen in the US — with profit margins approaching 50%.

Free Trial

Proudly annoying those in power since 2000.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

3 thoughts on “What Murdoch really gets out of Time Warner (and it’s not Westeros)

  1. klewso

    Does the potential fall-out from NotW (“bribery” etc?) have any potential impact on this dream?

  2. Dom

    “Sport content is live and piracy-free”? Really?

    I think most would disagree. For example, here’s the 2009 US government hearing on the topic “Piracy of Live Sports Broadcasting Over the Internet”.

  3. Bill Hilliger

    Will the Tax office be subsidising that sinister wrinkly old American for this adventure? His organisation recently collected over $800 million of taxpayer funds. Crafty accounting, who knows?

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details