HONG KONG: News Corp’s year-old Mandarin-language TV channel is set to gain new rights from Beijing which will expand its broadcast area in China to selected venues throughout the country, according to an industry source.
The development is the latest advance in China for media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s Australia-based company, which has been among the most persistent foreign firms looking to grow its presence in the restrictive mainland media market.
A year ago, both News Corp’s Star Group and rival AOL Time Warner had won rights to begin Mandarin-language broadcasts in south China’s wealthy, Cantonese-speaking Guandong province.
Broadcasters in general look at China as a major growth opportunity because of the country's fast-expanding economy and audience of more than one billion potential viewers.
Under the new arrangement, News Corp’s Star TV unit would be allowed to transmit its Xingkong Weishi channel into three-, four- and five-star hotels across China, as well as office and residential compounds designed for foreigners, said the source who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The source said Chinese government officials were expected to approve the expanded broadcast area “very soon”.
News Corp’s pending expansion follows a similar announcement earlier this week by Phoenix Satellite Television Holdings, in which News Corp owns a 37.6% stake. – Reuters