Sky News could end up being sold to Disney before the rest of Sky.
You might recall that Twenty-First Century Fox wants to buy the whole of Sky in an £11.7 billion takeover but also that Fox itself has decided to sell almost its entire TV broadcasting assets and film production studios to Disney.
Whatever bit of Sky that Fox owns by the time the takeover goes through will be bought by Disney. It currently owns 39 percent of Sky. Disney understandably wants the whole company.
But the whole process is stuck at stage one because Sky needs to address concerns from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) that the full Sky acquisition could have an adverse impact on the UK's plurality of media ownership, specifically that the Murdoch family would own not only Sky News but also control News UK, the owner of the Times, Sun and TalkSport.
Not that it matters from the CMA point of view, but there is also wider concern at Sky News being owned by the same company as Fox News, even if for a short period of time - Fox News isn't being bought by Disney at the same time as the rest of Fox's film and broadcasting assets; it will be formed into a separate company alongside the rest of the Fox Broadcasting Network in the US.
So Disney has offered to buy Sky News as a separate entity so the CMA demands are no longer an issue "irrespective of whether Disney's proposed acquisition [of Fox] is completed". The deal would take place after Fox has bought the whole of Sky as it would be dependent on that going through.
Sky has also proposed a softer option which is the "legal separation and comprehensive ringfencing" of Sky News within Sky.
21st Century Fox anticipates that it will acquire the remainder of Sky by 30 June.
Also included in the Disney deal will be Twentieth Century Fox Film and Television, plus US cable and other international TV businesses, including Fox's stake in Hulu.
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