U.K. likely to nix Murdoch terrestrial move

New legislation said to keep ownership rule

LONDON — The U.K. government will reportedly block Rupert Murdoch from buying a U.K. terrestrial TV channel in its current revamp of cross-media ownership laws.

The upcoming communications bill, to be published in May, is said to retain restrictions on newspaper companies owning terrestrials.

Murdoch’s News Corp is parent to a number of British papers, including The Times and The Sun, and has a controlling 36.3% stake in satcaster BSkyB.

Present rules prohibit any newspaper company with more than 20% of the market owning more than 20% of a terrestrial channel. It is reported that that will likely remain the case.

Murdoch is known to have long coveted a piece of the British terrestrial market.

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