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Telstra & News Corp Fail To Agree On Sky News Before Deadline

Telstra and News Corp have reportedly failed to reach an agreement over Sky News’ carriage fees before the expiry date, with some sources claiming it could stall the proposed merger of Foxtel and Fox Sports.

Both companies – also owners of entertainment provider Foxtel – have been negotiating the fees, with the intention to secure a new contract before December 31st, 2017.

Sky News is currently wholly owned by News Corp, and late last year the network proposed a rise in annual carriage fees (reportedly around $30 million) to be paid by Foxtel.

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According to Mumbrella the annual carriage fees have remained unchanged for over a decade. News Corp reportedly proposed a large increase in fees to be paid by Foxtel, whilst Telstra opposed the proposal and countered with a lower figure.

Sources state failure to reach an agreement may stall the proposed Foxtel and Fox Sports merger. News Corp is currently the sole owner of Fox Sports.

The ACCC recently offered their backing for the proposed merger, concluding that it would not decrease market competition.

The deal would see News Corp retaining 65% of the merged entity, with Telstra holding 35 %. Commentators state the deal will allow shares in the Foxtel-Fox Sports entity to float on the ASX.

Following the ruling, Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox has agreed to sell the majority of its entertainment assets to Disney, leading some market commentators to question whether News Corp still desires the merger to go forth, as the organisation re-aligns its focus on news.

Both Telstra and News Corp are still reportedly in negotiations over Sky News’ carriage fees.

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