Following months of negotiating, News Corp and Telstra have signed definitive agreements to combine Foxtel and Fox Sports Australia.
The arrangement will see News Corp have a 65 per cent shareholding in the combined entity, while Telstra will have 35 per cent.
News Corp will appoint four directors (including the chairman) to the combined entity’s board and the senior executives, and Telstra will appoint two directors.
News Corp will also consolidate the combined entity into its financial statements, with the transaction expected to close in the last quarter of the 2018 fiscal year.
The announcement comes after former Fox Sports chief Patrick Delaney was chosen to replace Peter Tonagh as Foxtel’s CEO in January.
Robert Thomson, CEO of News Corp, said: “The launch of the combined company will provide the dawn of a new era for our Australian business, and Foxtel and Fox Sports will together be a formidable force.
“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 Delaney and his talented team will be absolutely focused on serving viewers compelling, contemporary Australian content and superlative sports coverage on personalised platforms.”
Telstra CEO Andy Penn said the combination of Foxtel and Fox Sports Australia with their content assets would position the company to strongly compete in the dynamic media market, and it would continue to be an important part of Telstra’s media strategy.
“Our customers are streaming more and more sport and entertainment on their TV at home and on their mobile devices while on the move,” he said.
“Telstra will be the exclusive telco sales agent for the combined entity on mobile and IP products, and we will continue with our broadcast reseller arrangements.”