Raised forecasts spur News Corp's channel plans

MUMBAI: Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, which raised its forecast for the 2003-04 fiscal after its fiscal third quarter net income rose 69 per cent to $465 million, now sounds concrete about their plans to unveil new cable channels.

News Corp., which owns the Fox television operations, is planning to launch a cable TV channel by the end of this year.

According to News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch, the company will start with a Fox channel in 2004 and will decide on more channels after that.Murdoch told Fox News that the company is pondering a business, entertainment or sports channel. Other prospects are channels devoted to weather and or Hispanic-interest programming.

News Corp. has recently gained control of satellite TV operator DirecTV. This gives Murdoch the advantage of 12.5 million ready-customers when he launches the new channel, which Fox will push to get carried by other cable and satellite operators.

The Fox News Channel has by now overtaken CNN as the most-watched 24-hour-news cable channel. Fox News also hoasts the five top-rated cable business shows.

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