Patrick Delany, the head of Fox Sports Australia, will be the next CEO of Foxtel, taking charge as the two pay TV businesses are about to merge into one.
He succeeds Peter Tonagh, who was widely respected in the pay TV industry but was at the helm at a time when consumers drifted to streaming services such as Netflix and Stan. Tonagh’s next role is not known.
Foxtel launched its own streaming offering, although the rapidly expanding content offering of new streaming products — especially Netflix – has provided fierce competition.
Delany, a former lawyer at Gilbert + Tobin, has been at Fox Sports since 2011.
His appointment comes ahead of a merger between Foxtel and Fox Sports and declining subscriber numbers. News Corp wrote down the value of its investment in Foxtel by $289 million in August.
Chief Operating Officer Peter Campbell will lead Fox Sports as arrangements for the final structure of the combined businesses are made.
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.”
News Corp CEO Robert Thomson thanked Tonagh for his service.
“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,” Thomson says.
Delany praised Tonagh for his contribution to building the Foxtel business.
“Peter leaves a great foundation at Foxtel,” says Delany
“It has extraordinary assets, great people and a deep subscriber base. I’m excited by opportunities at both Foxtel and Fox Sportsto give consumers something better, different and special.”
Delaney began his career in television in 1998 at Southern Star Entertainment where he relaunched the Lifestyle Channel, Channel [V], Music Max, and The Weather Channel for the Foxtel and Austar platforms.
In 2002, he was appointed as Director of Digital at Foxtel, playing an instrumental part in the rebirth and reinvigoration of Foxtel as a digital product. In 2005, he was appointed as Executive Director of Content, Product and Delivery. In 2011 he became CEO of Fox Sports.