UPDATE: A representative for Lachlan Murdoch tells us:
“There is absolutely no plans to rebrand Sky News as Fox News. It is simply not true”.
The original story is below
Rumours have been around for weeks about a major name change for Australia’s Sky News and today there has been a big development
It seems almost certain that Sky News Australia will rebrand as Fox News in the coming months, if not weeks, according to multiple sources.
TV Blackbox keeps hearing a name change is on the cards, but Foxtel and Sky News have both denied this.
But we have also discovered IP applications for Fox News International for the Australian market.
The move comes as Sky News Australia’s affiliation deal with its UK counterpart draws to an end. In 2018 Rupert Murdoch sold Sky TV (which includes Sky News) to Comcast after a three-decade reign.
As part of that agreement Sky News Australia was able to keep the naming rights for five years. That deal is about to expire and it would seem neither party wants to renew. It’s widely known Sky UK does not like to be associated with the right-leaning Australian model, which has been influenced heavily on Fox News.
Sky News UK journalist Adam Boulton was at pains to make the point the two brands might share the same name but are two completely different companies.
In fact, TV Blackbox can reveal employees from Fox News in New York have been in Australia advising Sky’s management on how to make their programming and production more in line with the Fox News model.
Many viewers have already noticed the changes.
Earlier today Channel 6 News journalist Leonardo Puglisi discovered news Corp had registered the domain name foxnews.com.au
That website redirects to news.com.au.
But while some Fox News elements have been registered as far back as 1999 an influx of new activity is adding weight to growing rumours the name change is on.
One source told TV Blackbox they expect the rebrand to occur on July 1. if it does it will surprise many at the network who are not aware of the change.