News Corp. and Telstra are "planning to list Foxtel on the stock market," according to Lucy Battersby of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. To prepare that move, they announced they will merge the subscription TV service they jointly own -- Foxtel -- with News' sports network, FoxSports. In an announcement released on Thursday, the companies revealed the new entity would be 65% owned by News Corp. with Telstra owning the remaining 35%. Currently, Telstra holds 80% of the equity in Foxtel but acts as a 50% owner. News Corp. will "effectively control the new company" with the right to appoint the chair, majority of the board and senior execs. Telstra will be "allowed to appoint some directors." No prices or payments were revealed. Foxtel had 2.7 million subscribers at the end of the financial year, down from 2.8 million the previous year. Key commercial terms of the proposed transaction have been "agreed on a non-binding basis" and the two companies will work to finalize the transaction, including obtaining regulatory approval, in the first half of '18 (SMH, 8/17).
The Victoria, Canada, bid committee for the 2022 Commonwealth Games unveiled a budget on Wednesday of C$955M ($753.6M), according to Cleve Dheensaw of the TIMES COLONIST. It "envisions a regional stadium in the West Shore, arena for gymnastics at a site to be determined, and later converted to an Olympic-size ice rink," temporary venues which include beach volleyball in front of the legislature and three-on-three basketball at Ship Point in the Inner Harbour. The Athletes Village and Officials Village "would be built near Costco in Langford and converted to housing post-Games." The bid committee is asking for C$400M ($315.6M) from the federal government and C$400 million from the British Columbia government, "with no commitment yet from either." While BC Premier John Horgan and Green Party of BC Leader Andrew Weaver expressed "initial excitement" about a Victoria Games, BC Finance Minister Carole James is "being abundantly cautious." The Games require a government body, in this case the province, to "guarantee any cost overruns." Bid Chair David Black said that he has met with James. Black said, "Her job is to say no. We have to convince her. It is not going to be easy." The federal government, meanwhile, must also consider '26, in which Canada will "likely" host 10 World Cup football games, "while Calgary is considering bidding for that year's Winter Olympics." Black added, "The federal government is generally supportive of us but we haven't got there, yet [in terms of a firm commitment]." Greater Victoria municipalities will be asked to contribute C$25M ($19.7M) of "in-kind services" for '22. Black said that with the provincial and federal spending on the event, Greater Victoria would be "getting back dollars in return for pennies." The rest would come from "sponsorships and marketing" (TIMES COLONIST, 8/16).