Foxtel merger with Fox Sports set for June | Major Businesses | Business
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Foxtel will merge with sports network Fox Sports Australia by the end of June, the pay-TV company's joint owners News Corp Australia and telco Telstra have agreed.

Foxtel logo 7 March 2018News Corp, which is the sole owner of Fox Sports, will have a 65% stake in the merged company with Telstra having the remaining 35%. News Corp will provide senior executives and appoint four directors to the board, including the chairman. Tesltra will contribute two directors.
Foxtel, long Australia's largest pay-TV operator , has a subscriber base of 2.8 million but faces increasing competition from over-the-top (OTT) video streaming services such as Netflix.

The merged company, headed by Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany, plans to "deliver premium and innovative content to Australians with...greater quality, variety and efficiency."

"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," said News Corp CEO 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."

Telstra will be the exclusive telecommunications sales agent for the combined entity on mobile and IP products, and will continue with its broadcast reseller arrangements, said Telstra CEO Andy Penn.

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) approved the merger after considering whether it would substantially lessen competition - particularly in the provision of televised sports and bundled voice, broadband and audio visual content.

"An important consideration was that consumers will still be able to access Foxtel's digital products even if they acquire broadband or mobile services from Telstra's competitors," ACCC chairman Rod Sims said in December.

News Corp will write down the value of its investment in Foxtel and Fox Sports Australia by $700 million to $1.1 billion when it reports its third quarter financial results on 31 March, it said in a filing to the US Securities Exchange Commission on Tuesday on 6 March.
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