Telstra CEO Says Foxtel, Fox Sports Merger Will Help Company Compete
Australian telecom Telstra CEO Andrew Penn said that a deal to combine Foxtel and Fox Sports "will put the company in a better position to vie with tech giants for sports rights and premium content," according to Davidson & Adhikari of THE AUSTRALIAN. News Corp. and Telstra are "pushing ahead with plans" to merge Foxtel and Fox Sports into a sports and entertainment pay-TV player ahead of a multi-billion dollar stock market listing. Asked about Amazon, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube’s growing interest in top-tier sports rights, Penn said, "Our media sector is very dynamic at the moment, and with more media becoming available over the internet, essentially that’s changing the dynamics of the industry. There are new players such as Amazon that are providing media offerings, and Netflix." He added, "This move is really actually to bring those two businesses together and simplify the structure, definitely so they can be well positioned to respond to all of the changing market dynamics including the need to actually make more of that content available over the internet, over an IP (internet protocol) network, as well as through broadcast as well." While a deal has yet to be finalized, the two sides have "begun talks and sought regulatory approval." They "hope to get the green light" from the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission by March (THE AUSTRALIAN, 8/18).