UK Culture Secretary Matt Hancock has accepted a series of revised undertakings from Disney which would secure the future of Sky News for at least 15 years, allowing the remainder of Sky to be bought up by 21st Century Fox.
The updated measures follow a decision by Hancock not to allow the Fox/Sky deal to proceed unless Sky News was divested and the channel’s longterm future secured.
Today the minister said he’d accepted the following undertakings:
- a commitment from Disney to operate and maintain a Sky News branded news service for 15 years rather than 10 years
- a restriction on Disney from selling Sky News for 15 years without the consent of the Secretary of State
- an extension of the funding commitment from 21st Century Fox from 10 years to 15 years
- an increase in the total funds available to Sky News, to at least £100m per year, with operating costs protected in real terms
- a formal commitment from Disney to preserve the editorial independence of Sky News
which he said “meet the criteria that I set out to the House on 5 June and will help to ensure that Sky News remains financially viable over the long term; is able to operate as a major UK-based news provider; and is able to take its editorial decisions independently, free from any potential outside influence.”
Sky has welcomed Hancock’s decision.