Stocks soaring as investors clamor for French TV shares

TF1, M6 benefit from boost

PARIS — Investors couldn’t get their hands on French TV shares quickly enough last week, sending the value of companies soaring: TF1 rose more than 30%, M6 more than 28% and Canal Plus was up more than 24%.

The news of a deal between Rupert Murdoch and Germany’s Kirch Group seemed to whet investors appetites for media shares. The announcement Wednesday of an alliance for digital pay TV in Germany between the two moguls was followed by the week’s biggest share price hikes on the Paris stock market — greater than 10% in a single day’s trading.

“A deal like that focuses the spotlight on the sector,” a Paris analyst said Friday. “It’s psychological. The market had neglected the stock for a while, but this week it has taken a fresh look.”

Experts point out that the TV bonanza mirrors the stock market success of U.S. Internet companies, with investors going all-out for a stake in the technology of the future — digital TV and the Internet.

In Europe, which lacks big Internet players, the heavyweight TV companies seem to offer the surest investment.

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