Cable TV

Time Warner CEO rates India ahead of China

MUMBAI: India suddenly seems to have emerged as the preferred destination over China for the media bigwigs. Soon after News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch expressed discontent over China's FDI policy, Time Warner Inc. chairman and chief executive officer Richard Parsons echoed the same sentiment.

According to Parsons, India as a television market offers better immediate growth prospects for his firm than China. Speaking to the Press at a luncheon with the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, he said India has stronger rule of law and less censorship.

Parsons complimented the country's advancements in infrastructure and technology to distribute media content, saying it has set the stage for Time Warner Inc. to build a significant presence quickly.

"China is a very tough market for a media and entertainment company, because of some fundamental things such as rule of law. It's hard to make long-term investments, long-term deals if you don't exactly know what the playing field is going to look like," Parsons has been quoted as saying. "By contrast, India has a stronger rule of law culture and it doesn't censor as much," he said.

Time Warner's media empire includes Warner Bros., the Time Inc. group of magazines, HBO, CNN, AOL and Time Warner Cable, among which HBO, CNN, Cartoon Network and Pogo are present in the Indian market.

Rupert Murdoch had put big bet on China, a market which he fancied would soon take over as the fastest-growing in the world with its sheer size of eyeballs. But the Chinese government's decision in July this year to tighten control of foreign participation in the local TV industry had affected Murdoch's plans to step up further investments in the country.

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