News Corp to spin off Net media units

The new company, Sky Global Networks, brings under one roof News Corp's far-reaching pay-television services, which have 85 million customers worldwide. The services include satellite-distribution operations Star TV in Asia and BSkyB in Britain.

Those systems would form the basis for the company's ambitious Internet strategy. Via set-top boxes and other distribution systems, Sky Global hopes to create a worldwide interactive system where subscribers can do their shopping and banking, send e-mail and play games, as well as just watch TV.

Sky Global also will include the company's equity interest in TV Guide and NDS Group, which makes set-top box software. For the nine months ended March 31, Sky Global said it took in revenue of $295 million, compared to $670 million a year earlier, when News Corp's magazines were part of the unit.

News Corp said the move would help it dominate digital-interactive multimedia services throughout the globe, as well as unify its management teams to enhance its strategic planning. It would also put Sky Global in a better position to form strategic alliances.

"From an operational standpoint, as far as someone looking to do business with News Corp on an Internet-related venture, it's better to have this isolation," says Dylan Brooks, an analyst with Jupiter Communications.

News Corp expects the IPO to be completed before the end of the year, but declined to comment Tuesday on its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In the company's filing with the SEC, Sky Global said it would use its satellites to offer broadband Internet access through televisions, personal computers, mobile telephones and personal digital assistants. Its set-top boxes would become a media server providing communication through TVs, printers, game consoles and telephones. The IPO would enable the company to invest in developing the technology that would enable the set-top box to perform these functions.

News Corp's move indicates its confidence that the shift to use broadband and cable to access the Internet would happen sooner rather than later. And it demonstrates News Corp's concentration on the set-top box arena, coming on the heels of America Online's announcement last week that it had forged an agreement to develop set-top boxes to let viewers customize what they watch.

The company will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the SGN symbol. Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch are underwriting the offering.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?