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Rupe’s Star rises in Asia

Execs looking to but stake in a free-to-air b'caster

Rupert Murdoch owns the dominant pay TV platforms in a raft of major territories — except, notably, Indonesia, whose 220 million people dislike paying to watch TV.

So execs from Murdoch’s Star TV are looking at buying a stake in one of Indonesia’s free-to-air broadcasters — preferably along with management control.

Sources in Jakarta say publishing giant Gramedia, whose stable includes the morning daily Kompas, is the most amenable to selling Rupe a stake in its web TV-7.

“I’ve been exploring business opportunities across different Asian markets including Indonesia,” Star TV chief operating officer Steve Askew tells Variety. “However, we have not concluded anything.”

TV-7 is the fifth-ranked web in the local ratings but its toppers have said their aim is to get to No. 1 in four years.

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