In Brief

Murdoch's News Corp strikes £220m talkSport takeover

Deal brings media mogul back into direct competition with the BBC, says Daily Telegraph

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp has struck a £220m deal to buy Wireless Group, the radio broadcaster that owns talkSport. 

An all-cash offer, described by Wireless executive chairman Richard Huntingford as an "excellent" outcome, will see each shareholder receive 315p per share. The stock leapt on the news and at one point was up by as much as 70 per cent, from 184.5p to 313.5p.

In addition, all shareholders listed on the company's register as at 20 May will receive a special dividend of 6.15p and a final dividend of 7.6p, Sky News reports.

The jewel in the Wireless crown, talkSport owns the radio and digital broadcasting rights to the Premier League and the FA Cup, as well as the global live audio rights to the Premier League in multiple languages until 2019.

Buying the brand will put Murdoch "in direct competition with the BBC’s Radio 5 live", adds the Daily Telegraph, "potentially reigniting old hostilities".

Both Murdoch and his son, James, have previously been at the forefront of the criticism of the BBC's prominent licence fee-funded position, which the younger Murdoch once described as Orwellian.

Murdoch's empire already has a stranglehold on Premier League television broadcast rights through Sky Sports, which also shares highlights with fellow Murdoch-owned News UK newspaper titles The Times and The Sun.

Wireless, previously known as UTV, disposed of its suite of loss-making Irish broadcast channels, along with the UTV brand, to ITV for an undisclosed sum last October.

Recommended

Tackling energy bills: what the pundits say
Gas
Expert’s view

Tackling energy bills: what the pundits say

Cost of living crisis: the squeeze continues
Pensioner turns off water heater
In Depth

Cost of living crisis: the squeeze continues

Mini ‘recharged’: classic Minis go electric
Mini Recharged conversion project
In pictures

Mini ‘recharged’: classic Minis go electric

How to renew a UK passport
Blue and burgundy UK passports
In Depth

How to renew a UK passport

Popular articles

Are we heading for a snap general election?
Jacob Rees-Mogg
Today’s big question

Are we heading for a snap general election?

Is Bosnia on the brink of another civil war?
Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik
In Depth

Is Bosnia on the brink of another civil war?

Why is New Zealand shutting its borders again?
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern adjusts her face mask following a press conference
In Depth

Why is New Zealand shutting its borders again?

The Week Footer Banner