Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation is expected to take control of Australian News Channel, which owns subscription television channel Sky News, for between $20 million and $25 million.
An announcement is expected in the next few days as negotiations come to a conclusion, as foreshadowed by The Australian Financial Review.
Street Talk revealed Nine Entertainment had put its stake on the chopping block and that News Corp coveted the stake, with a deal expected imminently.
Australian News Channel is shared between Nine, Seven West Media and Britain’s Sky, which is 39.3 per cent owned 21st Century Fox, also controlled by Mr Murdoch.
News Corp is understood to be close to deals for Nine, Seven and Sky’s stakes.
Sources said the latest round of negotiations had been for Sky News to become a joint-venture between News Corp and Seven. However, it is understood that Seven decided against that approach.
Deal expected shortly
A final deal has not been signed, but negotiations are understood to be going well and the parties expect to reach agreement shortly.
The value of Sky News is largely related to its contract with pay TV business Foxtel, which is 50-50 owned by News Corp and Telstra.
The carriage arrange with Foxtel is due to expire in December 2017 and there were previous threats from News Corp that it would simply not renew the deal and create its own 24-7 news channel should it not have been able to work out a deal.
The expiring contract gave all side as incentive to talk about whether they would invest more in the business or sell out.
Seven and Nine are both expected to continue Sky News’ existing content supply agreement which will involve News Corp paying fees to the two free-to-air networks.
News Corp has long coveted Sky News and the first negotiations began close to two years ago.
News Corp is known to believe Sky News as a natural fit for its other businesses across Australia, such as newspapers The Daily Telegraph, The Australian and the Herald Sun as well as its pay TV platform Foxtel.
Speedcast International Ltd (ASX:SDA) Australian Border Force Select SDA for Satellite Management System
SpeedCast International Limited (ASX:SDA), a leading global satellite communications service provider, today announced that it has been awarded a tender for delivery of Wideband Management Systems for military and commercial satellite networks used by the Australian Border Force (ABF) for the delivery of satellite communications to their Cape Class Patrol Boats.
SpeedCast will deliver the ABF a full network management system, consisting of equipment, software, monitoring, maintenance, and support, as well as provide a secure network integration strategy to satisfy the customers’ stringent security and quality requirements.
SpeedCast’s certified engineers will equip each of the eight Cape Class vessels with Wideband Management terminals and state-of-the-art, high-efficiency satellite modems, which will allow two-way communication between the vessels and the ABF Headquarters in Canberra. The network management component of the solution supports remote access management, and is designed to comply with the operational management controls specific to ABF requirements.
In addition to the provisioning of the Wideband Management Systems, SpeedCast was awarded an overarching supplier contract to provide fixed and mobile satellite solutions to the Commonwealth Government including the ABF and other relevant departments in the agreement.
“It is an honor to have been chosen by the Australian Border Force to deliver monitoring and control functions, which enable enhanced management of chosen military & commercial satellite networks, and we are pleased to contribute in some respect to their mission”, said Andrew Burdall, Vice President Business Development at SpeedCast. “SpeedCast is providing the Australian Border Force an end-to-end Wideband Management solution that integrates high-efficiency advanced modem technology with a superior network monitoring system for information, management and control superiority. It is an important proof point of our strategy to expand our business in the government sector, by providing solutions that go beyond connectivity, thus enhancing the value we create for our customers.” he added.
Simon Luck, Inspector Maritime Communications, Electro-Optic and Sensor Systems at the Australian Border Force said that having a cutting-edge network monitoring system for the ABF’s telecommunications network is essential to ABF’s maritime operations.
“Australia’s maritime domain exceeds 10 million square kilometres and protecting this vast area from a wide range of civil maritime security threats is vital to Australia’s national security. The ABF monitors Australia’s waters 24/7 and responds to any sign of illegal activity,” Mr. Luck said. “We have chosen SpeedCast for their global and reliable network infrastructure and proven experience providing end-to-end solutions to Government agencies worldwide.”
About Speedcast International Ltd
SpeedCast International Ltd (ASX:SDA) is a leading global satellite communications and network service provider that is redefining connectivity around the world. Driven by its customer-first mindset and passion for leveraging communications technology to advance the government and enterprise customers it serves, SpeedCast has built an unsurpassed global satellite network and has expanded its infrastructure and presence to 42 sales and operations offices and 39 teleports across every region in the world.
Operating on the core belief that it’s the people behind the technology that makes the difference, SpeedCast combines deep expertise with fast, reliable, genuine service—ensuring that its customers’ communications needs are always met; anytime and anywhere in the world. For more information, visit www.speedcast.com.
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