News Corp to expand European TV operations

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LONDON--Rupert Murdoch, chairman of The News Corporation Limited, announced November 23 the formation of News Corp Europe. Mr. Murdoch also announced that News Corp Europe and the leading French TV network, TF1, are in advanced discussions with Telecom Italia con-cerning the formation of a joint venture to develop the Italian pay-TV market.

Letizia Moratti, former chairman of Italian state TV broadcaster RAI, has been appointed chairman of News Corp Europe. Mrs. Moratti will join the board of News Corporation and will also become one of News' nominees to the board of BSkyB. News Corp Europe will be head-quartered in Milan and will investigate and manage media investments in Continental Europe.

Telecom Italia recently began creating a multi-media subsidiary called Stream with an eye to launching digital pay-TV channel to challenge Telepiu, Italy's first pay-TV network controlled by French media group Canal Plus.

"Following the outstanding success of BSkyB in the U.K., we see opportunities to participate in media developments across Europe. We are delighted to be working with Letizia who has both the vision and experience to help up achieve our ambitions.''

News Corp and TF1 are also in discussions to launch a channel aimed at 15- to 35-year olds to be distributed in France initially by cable and satellite.

Copyright November 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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