God Tempts Murdoch to Invade Poland

30 June 2006

Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, this week crossed the border into Poland, invading the Polish television sector with the acquisition of a 49% stake in terrestrial channel TV Puls.

It is a deal between the strangest of bedfellows, given that the controlling 51% is retained by an Order of Franciscan Friars while Murdoch is a well-known worshipper at the altar of Mammon.

However, Zdzislaw Dzido, president of TV Puls' holding group TV Inwestycje, insists that NewsCorp intends to maintain the channel's family and Christian profile.

According to AGB Nielsen Media Research, between January and April this year TV Puls, which was founded in 2000, commanded a 0.4% share of the Polish TV market - an average per-minute rating of just 26,165 viewers.

Local bookies say the odds are shortening by the hour that Murdoch - or, more likely, a Polish ally - will move to acquire the balance of the channel's shares in the near future.

The deal marks NewsCorp's second foray into the eastern European nation. It already has a presence via billboard advertising firm News Outdoor Poland

Data sourced from mandmeurope.com; additional content by WARC staff