Monday, August 15, 2005
Russia/Media Giants/News Corp.
Business Week: Murdoch wants part of independent Ren-TV - and the Kremlin may O.K. it
"When media mogul Rupert Murdoch and a small group of American executives met Russian President Vladimir V. Putin in St. Petersburg this June, the News Corp. chief broached a controversial issue: Was the Kremlin ever going to lift its virtual monopoly on Russia's national TV networks? For Murdoch, it was a burning question. The increasingly lucrative Russian TV market is one of the few beyond his global reach. The surprise answer from Putin: There may be room for competition after all."
"From the Kremlin's perspective, Murdoch might prove the ideal foreign investor. The Australian-born media mogul is accustomed to dealing with authoritarian regimes. In China, for instance, his satellite network Star TV stopped broadcasting the BBC in 1994 for fear of offending Beijing authorities."
"Murdoch is no stranger to Russia. News Corp. already has about a quarter of the $800 million outdoor advertising market and has investments in two Russian radio stations. Nearly two years ago the company sought to acquire a stake in the satellite arm of No. 4 broadcaster NTV, which is owned by state-controlled Gazprom, but was rebuffed. ' We've been looking closely at the Russian TV market for a long time,' says Marty Pompadur, News Corp.'s chairman for Europe."
Posted by Turo Uskali at 6:12 AM