News Corp has named Fox Sports Australia chief executive officer Patrick Delany as the new CEO of Foxtel, succeeding Peter Tonagh, who led the company during its crucial merger negotiations.
As arrangements for the final structure of the combined Foxtel and Fox Sports Australia company are made, the latter will be led by Peter Campbell in his current capacity as chief operating officer. Campbell joined Fox Sports Australia last year after four years as general manager of media and broadcasting at the AFL. These changes are effective immediately.
News Corp chief executive officer Robert Thomson thanked Tonagh for his excellent service to Foxtel, News Corp Australia and REA Group during years of great change and challenge in the marketplace.
“There is no question that Peter Tonagh has been a thoughtful, far-sighted leader and his positive influence will resonate for many years to come,” said Thomson.
“Patrick’s astute and innovative leadership of Fox Sports, combined with his broad experience during his nine years at Foxtel, make him the ideal person to take the helm at such a profoundly important moment for Foxtel.”
Tonagh said: “With the process of bringing Foxtel and Fox Sports together proceeding towards a conclusion soon, it is the right time for me to move on and put Foxtel into the hands of the person who will lead the new company. I have known Patrick from his years at Foxtel and Fox Sports, and he is the right person to be at the helm in this new era.
“I am proud of what Foxtel has achieved in recent years. We have dramatically lifted the quality and quantity of Foxtel’s programming while making it more available and affordable for millions of Australians.”
News Corp Australasia executive chairman Michael Miller said that Tonagh’s contributions to Foxtel and News Corp “have helped the companies grow during a time of digital disruption”.
“We are grateful for his many contributions over the years as News Corp Australia’s chief executive officer and chief operating officer and as interim CEO of the REA Group. We also look forward to working closely with Patrick, who has much experience with the people and opportunities that exist in both Foxtel and Fox Sports.”
Delany said: “Peter leaves a great foundation at Foxtel. It has extraordinary assets, great people and a deep subscriber base. I’m excited by opportunities at both Foxtel and Fox Sports to give consumers something better, different and special.”
Delany has led Fox Sports Australia since 2011, during which time its coverage of sports has expanded, now delivering more than 10,000 hours of live action every year, including every game of NRL, AFL, Super Rugby, A League Football, F1 and Supercars.
A former lawyer with leading Australian law firm Gilbert & Tobin, Delany began his career in television in 1998 at Southern Star Entertainment where he successfully revitalised and relaunched the Lifestyle Channel, Channel [V], Music Max and The Weather Channel for the Foxtel and Austar platforms.
In 2002, Delany was appointed as director of digital at Foxtel. In 2005, he was named executive director of content, product and delivery at Foxtel where he introduced product and service innovations including Foxtel iQ, Mobile Foxtel, Foxtel On Demand, HD, 3D, Foxtel on Xbox and Foxtel on T-box services, as well as Foxtel’s availability on Virgin Airlines.
In 2007, Delany renegotiated Foxtel’s long-standing movie deals, which were seen as a turning point for Foxtel profitability.
In 2011, he became CEO of Fox Sports Australia. During his seven years with the sports broadcaster he has increased audience, profitability, expanded the digital footprint and overseen the introduction of new technologies and approaches, including in-play cricket helmet cameras in 2012 and user-generated content into live broadcasts.