On June 21, Mexico’s Federal Institute of Telecommunications (IFT) unexpectedly issued a resolution authorizing Fox Corporation (Fox Corp.) to acquire all the assets belonging to Fox Sports México, a sports channels network run by Grupo Lauman, which is owned by Mexican businessman Manuel Arroyo. The deal had not been previously announced by either company.

In this way, Fox Sports México will return to its original owner, the company led by Rupert Murdoch. Fox Corp. is the company resulting from the acquisition of most of 21st Century Fox’s assets by The Walt Disney Company in 2019. In the United States, Fox Corp. became the owner of the Free-To-Air network Fox and the Pay TV channels Fox News, Fox Business and Fox Sports. In Latin America, Fox Corp. operates only Fox News and Tubi, a free OTT platform acquired in 2020.

Disney was forced to sell Fox Sports in Mexico because IFT imposed the sale as a condition for the approval of the acquisition of Fox at a national level. It was Grupo Lauman that bought the sports channels network in 2021.

According to a press release issued by Mexico’s regulatory agency, “The analysis performed by IFT shows that Fox Sports México and Fox Corp. do not coincide in the provision of services in Mexico and therefore the deal does not change the structure of the market. Not having identified any effects that may interfere with economic competition, IFT’s governing body has approved the transaction.”

It is still unknown when the deal will be closed and when Fox Corp. will take over Fox Sports México. The amount of the transaction has not been disclosed either. Fox Sports México owns valuable rights in the Mexican territory, such as the rights to broadcast Formula 1, UFC, WWE (until the end of 2024; in 2025 the rights will be held by Netflix), NFL, MLB, Europa League, Conference League, as well as some matches within Liga MX (first division of Mexican soccer) and Liga de Expansión MX (second division of Mexican soccer), with contracts to be extended or renegotiated.

It is important to highlight that the Fox Sports brand no longer exists in other Spanish-speaking Latin American countries and Brazil, given that Disney discontinued the use of the brand in early 2024 in order to return it to Fox Corp. The only exception is Argentina, where the sports network was acquired by Mediapro, a Spanish corporate group.

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