NewsCorp and AOL TW Gain Access to Chinese Viewers

05 September 2001

NewsCorp and AOL Time Warner are set to gain much-coveted rights to broadcast to consumers in China, the tradeoff being their agreement to distribute a Chinese government-backed channel in America.

Minister for radio, film and television Xu Guangchun revealed he intended to allow the duo to broadcast to cable subscribers in an area of southern China. “We should say that [broadcasting by NewsCorp and AOL TW] in a restricted area in Guangdong province would be fine,” he commented, adding that the only remaining topic of discussion was US distribution of China Central Television.

Access to Chinese viewers – currently forbidden to foreign media companies – has been a longstanding goal of NewsCorp chief executive Rupert Murdoch, who has spent years ingratiating himself with the Chinese government.

Despite alienating the Chinese government with his comment in 1993 that satellite TV represented “an unambiguous threat to totalitarian regimes”, observers suggest that Murdoch has since discovered the Chinese regime posed an equal threat to his own plans for world domination.

News source: Financial Times