EC gives go-ahead to Star TV/Disney ESPN sports venture

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BRUSSELS -- The European Commission's Competition Commissioner Karel Van Miert has this week given the go-ahead to a joint venture between Rupert Murdoch's Star Television and Disney's ESPN.

The joint venture will pool both partners' expertise in sports program distribution. It will initially target 27 Asian countries that have the infrastructure to receive cable or satellite TV.

The joint venture will have no impact on the European TV map as yet. However, the EC decision is intended to pre-empt such a move in the future, according to a source within the Commission.

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