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
Untapped TV audience of 100 mn for international channels

The International Television Research Group (inTV) and GlobalWebIndex compared internet users aged 16-64 who watch any of the international TV channels such as BBC News, Bloomberg Television, CNBC, CNN, Euronews, Eurosport, France 24, National Geographic Channel, Sky News and TV5Monde channels at...

Television TV Channels Viewership
Zeel channels continue to rule Hindi channels; Colors, Star Maa return to across genres list

BENGALURU: Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (Zeel) free to air (FTA) Hindi GECs Zee Anmol and flagship Zee TV were once again ranked second and third in Broadcast Audience Research Council of India (BARC) weekly list of top 10 channels across genres for week 37 of 2018 (Saturday, 8 September 2018...

Television TV Channels Viewership
Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu market witness no change in BARC week 37

Colors Bangla and Jalsha Movies swapped their third and fourth positions in the Bengali space in the BARC data’s week 37. Big Ganga and Bhojpuri Cinema exchanged their first and second positions in the Bhojpuri segment. In the Kannada, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu market, no changes were observed....

Television TV Channels Viewership
Republic TV leads English news in BARC week 37

NDTV 24x7 stood at fifth position in the English news genre according to All India BARC data week 37. No changes were observed this week in the English business news genre. Aaj Tak continued to lead in Hindi news genre (U+R). Moreover, Aaj Tak and ABP News also continued to dominate in Hindi news...

Television TV Channels Viewership
ALTBalaji appoints Divya Dixit as Senior Vice President, Head of Marketing

Balaji Telefilms has recently been integrating great leadership talent from across the board to spearhead the business and become a powerhouse. Further fortifying its leadership at ALTBalaji - India’s largest platform for original and exclusive digital content, the company announced the appointment...

Television TV Channels GECs
DSport to broadcast Laver Cup from 21-23 September

DSport will bring live action from the second edition of Laver Cup, a men's tennis tournament between teams from Europe and the rest of the world to be held in Chicago from 21-23 September 2018.

Television TV Channels Sports
India’s top media companies announce formation of Digital News Publishers Association

Amidst a plethora of industry bodies and sectoral alliances in the Rs. 1.5 trillion Indian media and entertainment sector, another such organization today took birth. It has been christened the Digital News Publishers Association (DNPA). 

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Raj Nayak, Janak Sarda to be felicitated by International Advertising Association

At the annual International Advertising Association (IAA) Inspire awards to be held at Bucharest on 2 October 2018 with advertising and marketing leaders from all over the world in attendance, Viacom18 COO Raj Nayak and past president IAA India Chapter will be felicitated with the prestigious "...

Television TV Channels People
Sports most benefited genre in Chrome DM week 37

With a growth of 2.82 per cent as compared to last week (36), the sports genre marked the highest opportunity to see (OTS) among all categories in week 37 of Chrome Data Analytics & Media.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories