Image Source: Philippe Agnifili
Rebecca Wayman

Disney to invest £100m per year into Sky for over a decade

Entertainment giant, Disney has committed to giving Sky News a 15-year round of funding.

Disney has said it will be fund the news company with around £100m per year, and will agree to protect its operating costs too. This has been pushed up from the initial 10-year funding agreement offered before.

Disney will also be restricted from selling Sky News for 15 years without the agreement of the culture secretary. It has also stated it will preserve the editorial independence of Sky News.

The agreement has been accepted by Matt Hancock, the current culture secretary, which eventually intends to sell the broadcaster on to Disney.

Two weeks prior, Hancock stated that Fox would be allowed to buy Sky if it agreed to sell Sky News in advance. He was adamant that any buyer would have to be sure that Sky News remained financially feasible and operate as a huge news provider.

Fox - which is already Sky’s biggest shareholder with a 39.1 per cent stake - first tabled a proposal in December 2016 to buy the remainder of the broadcaster for £11.7bn in a deal valuing the whole of Sky at £18.5bn.

In the meantime, Comcast has emerged as a rival buyer for Sky, looking at a £22.1bn takeover bid. It has offered large funding amounts as well as Sky News’ independence.

However, Disney is now effectively agreeing to pump at least £1.5bn into the news provider for the next 15 years.

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