Murdoch in Indian Expansion, Talks-Up Western Ad Market

06 August 2008

NEW YORK: Rupert Murdoch has never flinched from putting his money where his convictions are. For example his latest $100 million (€64.23m; £51.0m) investment, unveiled yesterday, in six new Indian regional TV channels.

They will operate under the Star brand, airing in six languages.

And as if to emphasise News Corporation's commitment to one of the globe's fastest-growing media markets, the patriarch of Clan Murdoch also announced the launch of a 30-strong stock index, called the Dow Jones India Titans.

It will track and report on the performance of prominent listed Indian companies, such as Tata, Reliance Industries and Infosys.

Still in spending mode, the septuagenarian mogul also intends to double the number of staff at Dow Jones Newswires' Indian unit, acquired last year as part of his $5.6bn acquisition of Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal.

"In the long term, the media and advertising outlook for Asia is tremendous as wealth is created and people get educated and you see the emergence of a wealthy middle class," said Murdoch.

On a four-day visit to the subcontinent, he also took time out to hype the advertising prospects of his legion media properties in the western hemisphere – despite its impending slide into recession.

"Our advertisement [sic] on television and the internet is very, very good, except for local television," he boasted, referring to his stateside Fox Network and UK satellite monopoly BSkyB.

"Cable networks are all sold out for twelve months," while TV advertising in the UK is holding up "very well". 

But as to the state of advertising health at his plethora of newspapers, there was only the sound of silence.

Data sourced from multiple origins; additional content by WARC staff