NewsCorp Buys into US Value TV Service

27 September 2005

News Corporation is backing US Digital Television, a cable service targeted at less affluent American households.

The Murdoch-family controlled media group is one of six companies investing a total of $26 million (€21.5m; £14.6m) in USDTV, a Utah-headquartered digital broadcaster that charges $20 a month for a limited selection of cable channels.

The service costs under half the price of the most basic cable TV package. It is aimed at "value oriented customers" and is sold through the giant Wal-Mart chain and other local retailers. Its current 4,500 subscribers in Salt Lake City, Las Vegas and Albuquerque have access to 12 channels, including Fox News, ESPN, Disney and Discovery.

In exchange for the funds, the investors, Hearst-Argyle Television among them, will gain majority control of USDTV. The company will use the money to expand its services.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff