News Corp. Buying ESPN's Stake in Asian Joint Venture, ESPN Star Sports

Peter Hutton to become new managing director

News Corp. will buy out ESPN's 50 percent equity stakes in ESPN Star Sports, their Asian joint venture, the companies announced Wednesday.

No terms were disclosed. The companies have jointly managed ESS for 16 years.

The companies also announced that Manu Sawhney, managing director of ESS, will transition his role to Peter Hutton, currently senior vice president of sports for FOX International Channels. Hutton will report to the ESS Board.  Sawhney will stay with the Company until Aug. 31.

“News Corporation's acquisition of the interest of ESS that we did not already own continues the program of simplifying our operating model, consolidating our affiliate ownership structures, and furthers our commitment to delivering incredible sports programming to consumers across the globe, and particularly enhancing our position in sports programming in emerging markets,” said James Murdoch, deputy chief operating officer and chairman and CEO international of News Corporation.

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“We are extremely proud of our role in building ESS into what it is today, and now with the growing digital landscape in Asia, we look forward to continuing to serve Asian sports fans through ESPN-branded digital businesses like ESPNCricinfo, the leading digital cricket brand in the world, ESPNFC and ESPN Mobile,” said John Skipper, president of ESPN and co-chairman of Disney Media Networks.