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News Corporation, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, said it signed the deal in a bid to accelerate the development of "smart media services" and enhance the management and dissemination of digital entertainment, education and news.
Sun will be the main provider of Unix-based servers and related products for News Corporation and its affiliated companies. These include BSkyB and News International, which owns The Sun and The Times.
News Corporation will use Sun's Enterprise servers, Storage arrays, the Solaris operating environment and iPlanet server software to power its back-office applications, including datawarehousing and customer relationship management. The company will also use Sun's professional, educational and enterprise services as part of the deal.
Loren Fite, News Corporation's executive vice-president and CIO, said Sun's ability to support global operations was an important factor behind the decision.