News Corp to launch business channel later this year

MUMBAI: News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch says that his media conglomerate plans to launch a more 'business-friendly' business channel in the US than its rival CNBC.

The Fox Business Channel will launch in the fourth quarter in at least 30 million homes.

The channel, which will directly challenge CNBC for domination in the small but lucrative financial news market, will be developed and overseen by Fox News Channel/Fox Television chairman and CEO Roger Ailes.

Reports state that the business channel will be housed along with Fox News at the News Corp. headquarters in New York. It will have initial distribution across the US, including New York, with Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Charter and DirecTV.

The project has been in the works for several years, and the company was waiting for distribution to be in place.

Murdoch claims that CNBC is often too negative and focussed on financial scandals. He sounded a note of confidence by saying that CNBC would copy a lot of things that the new channel would do.

Meanwhile, Murdoch also said that over 10 per cent of the media company's sales will likely come from its digital businesses, from Internet to cell phones, in the next five years.

The view excludes Internet properties owned by its local newspapers, such as the New York Post's site, whose split of digital revenue could well go higher

Revenue from sites including MySpace are expected to account for about 2 per cent of News Corp's fiscal 2007 sales.

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