Media and Advertising

Rupert Murdoch losing interest in Chinese media?

The Financial Times reports:

Murdoch considers exit from China deal

News Corp has discussed withdrawing from Phoenix Satellite Television, its Hong Kong-based Chinese television joint venture, in a move that would see Rupert Murdoch walk away from his most successful effort to break into China’s tightly controlled media market.

People familiar with the situation said News Corp had talked about selling all of its 38 per cent stake in Phoenix. There is speculation that the company has not facilitated News Corp’s own expansion into China to the degree that Mr Murdoch had hoped. Phoenix has in recent years become China’s leading commercial broadcaster, while regulators have restricted the reach of News Corp’s own Star TV unit to upscale hotels and apartments and the southern province of Guangdong.

It's hard to blame the old fox for getting impatient: after all, he married Wendy Deng, stopped broadcasting the BBC's feed, spent gazillions on a courtyard house in Beijing, tossed his money at Phoenix and spoke at the podiums of prestigious universities in Beijing.

What did he get in exchange? Nada. News Corp is not any better off than Viacom, Time Warner or any of its other TV rivals trying to get their feet in the Chinese door.

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