Television

News Corp drops China TV joint venture plan: 'WSJ'

MUMBAI: Media conglomerate News Corp has dropped its plans to broadcast in China through a local partnership due to increasing government resistance to foreign influence in the domestic media, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

The paper said that News Corp had invested in a complicated joint venture aimed at leasing the operations of Qinghai Satellite TV Station in north-west China to expand its audience reach and help boost advertising revenue.

It was reported that News Corp chief Rupert Murdoch had told investors six months ago that the venture would give the company almost 50 per cent of a prime-time television channel in China with access to well over 100 million homes.

The venture pushed the regulatory limits of foreign involvement in Chinese television, the report said. Foreign broadcasting is currently restricted to parts of southern China, hotels and other designated complexes, with some foreign media companies allowed to sell limited blocks of programing to state-owned channels.

But the plan has now been dropped and the News Corp affiliate involved has pulled out, the paper said.

The report blamed the failure of News Corp's plans on the withdrawal of key political support for the project plus a wider government crackdown on foreign media in China.

News Corp's current presence in China includes the Xing Kong Wei Shi channel and a stake in Hong Kong-based Phoenix Satellite Holdings.

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