Kiwi B’cast Biz Up For Grabs

For sale: entire broadcasting industry of compact English-speaking market. Established audience and ad-revenue base. Excellent European production/sales links. Highly competitive radio interests. Some renovation required.

Interested? Call New Zealand. On May 1 its National Government, still in its first year of office, allowed up to 100% ownership of the country’s broadcasting outlets despite industry and political fears that it will lead to a loss of cultural identity.

No quotas or cross-ownership restrictions have been imposed, which means Kiwi’s newspaper giants, such as Rupert Murdoch, can buy into tv and radio.

The first buyers are an American consortium that has taken a 51% stake in pay web Sky TV. Members are Ameritech, Bell Atlantic, TCI and Time Warner. Price paid is undisclosed.

Broadcasting Minister Maurice Williamson says local content will be preserved by support from the Broadcasting Commission and by “market forces.”

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