News Corp. To Sell Sky News Channel In Effort to Acquire BskyB

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By Alex Weprin Comment

Big TV news news out of the U.K. this afternoon, as News Corp. (which of course owns Fox News Channel) has agreed to sell its Sky News channel, in an effort to win regulatory approval of its proposed purchase of BskyB.

The BBC broke the news of the sale earlier today.

In a nutshell, Sky News is News Corp.’s 24-hour U.K.-centric news channel, while BskyB is a mini media conglomerate, with the popular entertainment network Sky1, as well as the Sky Sports channels, which have as strong a presence on TV sets there as ESPN does here.

Fox News actually became a point of contention in the matter, as the NY Times reports:

But the News Corporation’s bid has come under severe scrutiny from people who are opposed to further consolidation of media companies. Some critics, which include the British communications regulator known as Ofcom, have warned of the prospect of a British version of Fox News, the controversial cable news channel.