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Murdoch’s News Corp-Fox reunion gambit comes as sports betting valuations tank

Nov 2 (Reuters) – Rupert Murdoch’s proposal to recombine News Corp (NWSA.O) and Fox Corp (FOXA.O) and capitalize on sports betting has yet to convince Wall Street as the valuations in the once red-hot gambling market crumble, according to former employees, financial analysts and sports media experts.

While some former employees see the move as driven by the 91-year-old Murdoch’s succession planning to consolidate power behind his son Lachlan Murdoch, CEO of Fox Corp, people familiar with the Murdochs’ thinking say they are serious about the sports betting opportunity.

“The proposal is 100% based on business rationale,” a spokesman for Rupert Murdoch told Reuters. “Any commentary that implies it has to do with succession planning is absurd and comes from sources with no knowledge of the strategy.”

There are other factors motivating the merger including a bid to achieve greater scale in news, live sports and information, sources said….

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