NewsCorp to Pay WorldCom $930m Over US Satellite Venture

22 February 2002

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation is to pay telecoms group WorldCom $930 million to settle all claims relating to a failed US satellite TV venture.

WorldCom’s MCI unit (which it purchased in 1998) allied with NewsCorp back in 1995 to establish a satellite venture named American Sky Broadcasting. Murdoch’s group took an 80% stake in ASkyB, which intended to roll out a 200-channel offering in late 1997.

However, after a series of failed attempts to get a satellite service off the ground, the venture was unwound, with ASkyB’s assets sold to EchoStar in 1999.

Concluding the affair, NewsCorp will pay WorldCom $250m in cash plus 121.2m preferred limited-voting ordinary shares, worth around $680m.

Data sourced from: (USA); additional content by WARC staff