Vivendi, News Corp close to finalising Italy pay TV deal

LOS ANGELES: Media conglomerate Vivendi Universal is said to be completing talks over the sale of its Italian pay TV operator to Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

A Reuters report indicates that the cut-price deal is worth close to one billion euros and will be finalised within a few days. The cash and debt deal was slashed from the original 1.5 billion euro price tag. In another fund-raising exercise, Vivendi's French pay TV unit Canal Plus - which is Telepiu's parent - was expected to announce the sale of its software unit to electronics firm Thomson Multimedia after a staff meeting on Tuesday.

Murdoch is seeking a broader foothold in Europe and re-negotiated the acquisition as cash-strapped Vivendi looked at asset sales and as wrangling with Italy's soccer clubs over broadcast rights raised uncertainty over the value of the deal to buy Telepiu. The report indicates that the media mogul plans to merge Telepiu with News Corp's own Italian rival Stream to create a single pay TV operator in a bid to stem huge losses which piled up as the two operators fought to outbid each other for broadcast rights to Italian soccer.

The deal could assign a core value of some 800 million euros to Telepiu, stripping out extras to cover advance payments. But after what have been tough and often volatile negotiations, they stressed the terms could still change. A merger of Telepiu and Stream would mark the latest round of consolidations in European pay TV, which has produced few profitable operators.

Some operators, such as Britain's ITV Digital, have even been forced out of business as they struggled to compete against a host of local rivals. The price tag for Telepiu includes extras such as reimbursements for pre-paid programme rights. Similarly, the original 1.5 billion euro deal included 500 million euros in reimbursements for rights to future sporting events and the sale of two licences. Murdoch wants to get down to making the Italian business profitable. Stream has so far burned a sizeable hole in News Corp's pocket and the group has also been reeling from a failed adventure in German pay television. The future of Stream and Telepiu has been hanging in the balance for many months.

Vivendi and News Corp had originally planned to merge the two operators but fell foul of regulators amid fears over two of the world's biggest media groups controlling Italy's pay television market together. Vivendi then sought to buy Stream before reversing tack and selling Telepiu to News Corp.

Latest Reads
Hunt for Zee Business head continues

MUMBAI: Zee Business, an arm of Zee Media Corporation, has seen several transitions in its management this year. The channel was initially headed by Amish Devgan, who decided to move away after serving for 14 years. It was then led by Zee Media Corporation’s then CEO for content Samir Ahluwalia,who...

Television TV Channels People
'King' content will take over monopolistic media entities, Arnab Goswami

NEW DELHI: The future of news lies in breaking away from the interdependence of politicians and the media on each other.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Animated 'Ramayana' a global Diwali gift on web, mobile

NEW DELHI: Thirty episodes of the animated series Ramayana will be available around the world on the nexGTv web and mobile platforms during Diwali.

Television TV Shows Animation
Sports Minister lauds b'casters, other stakeholders in promoting sports

NEW DELHI: India’s Sports Minister Vijay Goel said on Wednesday that digital media broadcasting will play a critical role in bringing about change in sports broadcasting in India but broadcasters must also focus on how sports as a product is delivered to audiences in rural areas so as to popularise...

Television TV Channels Sports
Know your karma on IBN7 with 'Karm Path'

In an attempt to give its viewers a refreshing start of the day, IBN7 is launching a new show titled Karm Path. Starting 27 October, the show will predict what the day holds. The show is a differentiator in its own genre as it connotes the supremacy of deeds over destiny.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Big Ganga available on Tata Sky now

Big Ganga has strengthened its distribution with DTH service provider Tata Sky.

Television TV Channels Regional
TV is story-teller's new novel; audience is Bharat, not India: Star's Banerjee

MUMBAI: Since five to six years, television has become the talking point. Th series such as 'Breaking Bad' to Transparent to Narcos to 'Game of Thrones' to 24, and now POW (Prisoners of Wars) has changed the experience of television viewing.

Television TV Channels GECs
Star World to air 1-5 of 'Homeland'

Star World and Star World HD is all geared up to air the pulse-pounding action series 'Homeland.' The show tackles geopolitical moral conundrums of our current world. It has recently unveiled the teaser for the upcoming season 6 shows how Carrie Mathison will circumvent around another international...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
Share all World Cup, T-20 feeds with Prasar Bharati, rights holder told

The telecast of all official one-day and Twenty-20 matches played by the Indian Men’s Cricket Team will henceforth have to be shared by the rights holder with the public broadcaster Prasar Bharati under the Sports Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) Act 2007.

Television TV Channels Terrestrial

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories