Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo by Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP Images

While controversy around Fox News continues to make headlines in the U.S., the Murdochs have their sights on much larger, international television goals, specifically in India where it reaches 720 million viewers, backs one of the country's most-downloaded Android apps and recently spent $2.6 billion to secure rights to cricket matches.

Why it matters: Across the globe, the Murdoch TV empire is looking to expand on almost every continent, which makes it different from its biggest U.S. entertainment and telecom competitors.

  • India: Star India, 21st Century Fox's TV unit, which reaches 720 million viewers in eight different Indian languages across 40+ broadcast and cable channels, continues to grow in record numbers largely thanks to its digital streaming app, HotStar.Hotstar continues to be one of the most-downloaded Android apps in the country, beating out Facebook Lite for the second year in a row, with more than 100 million active users – more than double the watch time of all its competitors combined. Engagement with the app has also more than doubled over the past two years, according to SimilarWeb. The priority there is to create as many hours of local programming as possible to drive engagement. 21st Century Fox CFO John Nallen says the company produces 17,000 hours per year of its local Indian product.Cricket: The network scored a major win over Facebook two weeks ago by securing the global digital and broadcast rights to stream Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket for the next five years for a whopping $2.6 billion. Their mega-investment beat out a reported $600 million digital-only India subcontinent bid from Facebook, likely the largest sports distribution bid Facebook has made to date.
  • Europe: 21st Century Fox is awaiting final approval from regulators to buy full stake in Sky, Europe's leading entertainment company serving 22 million network and satellite TV customers across the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy. If the takeover is approved, which Fox executives tell Axios they anticipate it will, it would be an enormous market share win for the Murdochs, who dropped Fox News from the air in the UK last month. The acquisition would also include Sky News, Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia, as well as the entire Sky communications brand, which includes broadband and digital content.
  • Latin America: Fox Network Group, which controls Fox's TV and cable channels, has also been expanding its presence in Latin America and Asia. Fox Sports was granted broadcast rights to air Argentinian soccer this year. Fox Sports Latin America renewed its exclusive distribution deal with Concacaf, the group that controls soccer in North America, Central America and the Caribbean.
  • Australia: The main video programming distributor in Australia, Foxtel, is controlled by Mudoch-owned NewsCorp, the only entertainment asset NewsCorp owns.

Why it matters: The future growth potential in entertainment and media is huge outside of the US market, which is why new entrants like Netflix and Facebook are so focused on international content and distribution deals. According Chip Smith, Executive VP of Public Affairs at 21st Century Fox, "Building global brands through deep localized investment is a cornerstone of our growth strategy, and we think the experience we've gained operating over decades in international markets will prove to be a unique differentiator for our business." Of note, James and Lachlan Murdoch, who now run the media empire, have lived and led media businesses on four different continents – something its tech competitors, like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, and Reid Hastings of Netflix, can't claim.

The localized attention to markets is what the Murdochs are most-focused on when building their International brand:

  • In India specifically, the push into free ad-supported streaming as opposed to a subscription-supported skinny bundle (something they are considering in the U.S. and Canada) stemmed from James Murdoch's personal experience running the company's Asia arm earlier in his career.
  • In the U.K., the family's familiarity with the media market through years of cross-channel ownerships has reinforced their confidence in its Sky acquisition, despite regulatory delays.

Media as a family businessFamily-owned media businesses operate much differently than standard businesses and need to make different generational considerations for major decisions, generally pushing them to think more long-term about investments. Other media executives are paid out with quarterly or yearly bonus incentives, so they tend to think more short-term."If you look at the Fox Broadcast Network and Fox News, these were investments that shareholders at the time thought were crazy, and they ended up both leading to phenomenal value creation," says Rich Greenfield, media analyst at BTIG. "That was certainly enabled by family ownership, which allowed them to feel confident in sacrificing short-term revenues to make investments that would build long-term value. regardless of shareholders' opinions."Some of the biggest family-owned U.S. media businesses, per the Global Family Business index:21st Century Fox and News Corp. (The Murdoch family.)Cox Enterprises Inc. (The Cox family)Advance Publications Inc. (The Newhouse family)Other major outlets, like The Washington Post (Jeff Bezos), Bloomberg L.P. (Michael Bloomberg) and the Boston Globe (John Henry), are privately-owned, and thus too have different incentives for long-term and short-term strategy.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

Scoop: Iran preparing to enrich weapons-grade uranium, Israel warns U.S.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi holds a press conference. Photo: Presidency of Iran handout via Getty

Israel has shared intelligence over the past two weeks with the U.S. and several European allies suggesting that Iran is taking technical steps to prepare to enrich uranium to 90% purity — the level needed to produce a nuclear weapon, two U.S. sources briefed on the issue tell me.

Why it matters: Enriching to 90% would bring Iran closer than ever to the nuclear threshold. The Israeli warnings come as nuclear talks resume in Vienna, with Iran returning to the negotiating table on Monday after a five-month hiatus.

Biden: Fight against Omicron won't include "shutdowns or lockdowns"

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden on Monday said that the new coronavirus variant, Omicron, is "a cause for concern, not a cause for panic."

Driving the news: Biden said later this week the administration will be releasing a strategy on how "we're going to fight COVID this winter. Not with shutdowns or lockdowns, but with more widespread vaccinations, boosters, testing and more."

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: WHO says Omicron poses "very high" risk — Fauci says Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in U.S. — U.S. restricts air travel from 8 countries over Omicron concerns.
  2. Politics: Biden says fight against Omicron won't include "shutdowns or lockdowns."
  3. States: New York declares state of emergency amid concerns over Omicron.
  4. World: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating worldWHO warns against travel bans on southern African countries — First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.