Television

Star denies report on Phoenix pullout

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MUMBAI: The Star Group has strongly refuted a recent report in the Financial Times that News Corp "has discussed withdrawing from Phoenix Satellite Television, its Hong Kong-based Chinese television joint venture."

"We have not considered or discussed any exit from Phoenix. There is no logic in the report. Why should we pull out of what is an extremely profitable venture," Jannie Poon, spokesperson at Hong Kong-based Star TV, News Corp's Asian arm, has told Indiantelevision.com

The FT report, quoting people familiar with the situation, said News Corp was internally debating whether to sell of its entire 38 per cent stake in Phoenix over its JV partner's failure to facilitate Star's till now fruitless attempts to expand further in China. Star TV is currently restricted to upscale hotels and apartments and China's southern province of Guangdong.

News Corp and Liu Changle, chairman of Phoenix, hold an equal 38 per cent stake (value roughly HK$ 2.2 billion at current exchange rates) in China's leading commercial broadcaster.

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