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Disney Pledges $2 Billion to Fund Sky News for 15 Years

Fox would also up its funding commitment from 10 to 15 years

Disney has committed to operating Sky News for at least 15 years and invest $2 billion, should it acquire the British pay-TV company, Sky Plc, through its deal with 21st Century Fox.

British Culture Secretary Matt Hancock laid out the new terms in a written statement on Tuesday.

Disney would acquire Fox’s stake in Sky News’ parent company, Sky Plc, as part of its agreement to buy film and TV assets from the company. Hancock wrote that Sky News would receive annual funding of £100 million, roughly $132 million, for each of the 15 years.

Earlier this month, Hancock said that 21st Century Fox would be allowed to take over Sky as long as it divests Sky News to Disney or another company. Fox also offered to up its funding commitment from 10 to 15 years. Disney’s 15-year commitment was also an increase from the 10 years it initially offered.

“In my view, these revised undertakings meet the criteria that I set out to the House on 5 June and will help to ensure that Sky News remains financially viable over the long term; is able to operate as a major UK-based news provider; and is able to take its editorial decisions independently, free from any potential outside influence,” wrote British Culture Secretary Matt Hancock.

Fox, which already owns 39 percent of the company, made a $16 billion to purchase Sky outright. Fox is also facing competition for Sky from Comcast, which offered $31 billion for the company.

“Under the legislation, I am required to consult formally for 15 days on the undertakings, which I propose to accept. Views as to whether these proposals are sufficient to remedy the adverse plurality public interest concerns raised by this merger are sought by 5pm on Wednesday 4 July 2018,” he continued.