Major television network, Sky threatened to close down its news branch, Sky News. The threat was made after the network believed that the news channel could hinder its takeover by 21st Century Fox.
Rupert Murdoch-owned 21st Century Fox has already been in the news in recent times. The company has claimed that it is likely to sell a major portion of its shares to Walt Disney. However, these claims have yet to come to fruition.
21st Century Fox also proposed a takeover of the Sky network, a proposal that was put forth nearly six years ago. The Sky network is now afraid the bid has faced traction from its news channel, Sky News.
In a submission made to the CMA in October, Sky stated that it would “be prompted to review” its position in the industry if the continued functioning of Sky News “unduly impeded merger and/or other corporate opportunities available”.
Reports also state that regulators are worried that Murdoch’s media empire has gained too much power. BBC’s media editor, Amol Rajan even called it a “credible threat”.
Sky’s decision to close down its news channel would come into effect only if the company fails to find an appropriate buyer for the company. The media company has its original hopes pinned on Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox.
However, Fox’s slow fulfillment of its original bid has caused the company to fly into panic mode. It is now fearful that if it waits for Fox’s lifeboat too long, its entire crew could be drowned.
Thus, while many state that Sky’s proposal to shut down Sky News is nothing more than a theatrical threat, aimed to draw attention to its flailing situation, others fear that it is a desperate final attempt of a network that is on the verge of going overboard.