Business

Apr 4, 2018

A Sky News sale to Disney would do nothing but give the Murdochs more power

While an independently run Sky News under Disney would at first seem to diminish any Murdoch influence, it pays to remember that the family is playing the long game.

Glenn Dyer — <em>Crikey</em> business and media commentator

Glenn Dyer

Crikey business and media commentator

Murdoch

Call it a Murdochian sleight of hand. On the face of it, the latest offers from 21st Century Fox to guarantee the independence of Sky News (thereby allowing Fox to buy the 61% of Sky plc it doesn’t own) look reassuring, especially as they are underwritten by a suggested offer from Disney to buy Sky News. Fox and the Murdochs are saying that they will ring-fence Sky News as a separate company completely and fund it for 15 years. If that isn’t enough, Disney will buy it (at a price to be agreed) and run it with its other cable channels around the globe. Easy peasy, Murdochian influence gone! But don’t be too hasty about that.

It is an elegant solution to a problem that would have almost certainly seen the Fox bid blocked completely by UK regulators because of well-held views about the Murdoch Family Trust's undue influence in the UK (already controlling Fox, The Sun, The Times and Sunday Times, to go with potential Sky News ownership) especially in political and public discourse. But where the Murdochs' shareholdings are concerned, it pays to look deeper and maintain your scepticism. Looking at the Sky News offers, you have to remember that the bigger deal is the Fox-Disney asset sale which is looking to cement the family’s global future and influence.

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1 comments

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One thought on “A Sky News sale to Disney would do nothing but give the Murdochs more power

  1. 2bobsworth

    Sky is Rupert’s very expensive version of Twitter, only unlike Trump, he doesn’t leave any fingerprints. Sky will run at a huge loss but the shareholders really don’t have a say in the matter. It’s the only way Rupert can display his political testosterone, using his highly paid “opinion as news”clones of course.
    If he stayed out of politics long enough perhaps Democracy could recover from the quagmire the Murdoch press has promoted for so long on three continents.

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