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News Corp completes deal to take full control of ESPN´s Singapore unit

International media giant News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) has finalised its acquisition of the 50% stake in Singapore-based ESPN STAR Sports it did not already own from sports entertainment provider ESPN Inc.

News Corp bought the interest via a wholly-owned subsidiary. Upon completion, ESPN STAR Sports has become a fully-controlled unit of News Corp.

Financial details on the transaction, which was announced on 6 June 2012, were not provided.

The deal is in line with News Corp’s plan to streamline its operating model and consolidate affiliate ownership structures and also reflects its goal of cementing its presence in sports programming in emerging markets, News Corp’s deputy COO James Murdoch had said.

As a result of its exit from the tie-up, ESPN will become more independent and flexible in backing its ultimate parent The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) in its drive in Asia, the parties had said. ESPN aims to independently pursue future opportunities in Asia, continuing to provide sports entertainment via its digital businesses, including cricket brand ESPNCricinfo, as well as ESPNFC and ESPN Mobile, amid the increasing digital penetration in the region, ESPN’s president John Skipper had noted.

News Corp has named Peter Hutton managing director of ESPN STAR Sports, replacing Manu Sawhney.


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