21 June 2000

News Corp, Rupert Murdoch’s US-headquartered holding company, has filed plans with the American Securities and Exchange Commission for a global consolidation of its satellite TV assets.

Headed by News Corp joint-chief operating officer Chase Carey, the new combined group will be known as Sky Global Networks. It will consolidate the cash-haemorrhaging Asian broadcaster Star TV (cumulative operating losses of $478 million in the past four fiscals) with UK moneyspinner British Sky Broadcasting. Other interests integrated in the new group will be Italian pay-TV operator Stream, Japan's SKY PerfectTV, satellite-TV affiliates in Mexico and Brazil; encoding-technology company NDS Group; and America’s TV Guide.

News Corp, a relative minnow in the lucrative US cable-TV market alongside the ilk of Time Warner, Viacom and Walt Disney, aims to lead elsewhere in the world – especially in the booming new sector of wireless broadband.

In example, says News Corp, SGN will offer two-way internet access in Asia or Latin America via both personal computers and cellphones, plus its more traditional satellite TV fare of pay-movies and sporting events.

News source: Wall Street Journal