You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

News Corp. raises Premiere stake

Company's holding rises to 20%

News Corp. has increased its stake in paybox Premiere to nearly 20%, solidifying expectations that the group is serious about its new German foothold.

Move follows last month’s acquisition of a 14.58% stake in the feevee platform from regional cable group Unity Media, making News Corp. the single biggest shareholder in Premiere.

On Thursday the group said it had increased its stake to 19.9%.

“We’re looking forward to working constructively with Premiere’s management on the growth and future direction of the business,” said James Murdoch, News Corp.’s chairman and chief exec for Europe and Asia.

News Corp.’s European pay TV holdings include a 39% stake in BSkyB, the No. 1 pay TV group in the U.K. with more than 8.8 million subscribers, and its wholly owned Sky Italia, Italy’s leading feevee provider with more than 4 million subs — well ahead of Premiere’s 3.65 million.

News Corp.’s latest grab comes as Premiere readies for a showdown with former owner Leo Kirch over lucrative top league Bundesliga soccer rights.

Germany’s antitrust office is expected to soon weigh in on Kirch’s ambitious plans to produce and sell pre-packaged Bundesliga soccer shows starting in 2009, and the octogenarian is looking to placate the watchdog as well as pay TV platform Premiere with a compromise.

After News Corp.’s initial acquisition in January, Premiere went on the offensive by filing a complaint with the federal cartel office charging that Kirch’s plan to offer bundled Bundesliga programming was not only anticompetitive but a violation of its journalistic integrity.

Kirch’s strategy is a core element of the savvy mogul’s six-year, E3 billion ($4.4 billion) marketing deal with the German Football League (DFL). The soccer show is to be produced by a joint company set up this week by Kirch’s Sirius SportMedia and the DFL.

More TV

  • Nancy Lesser HBO

    HBO Exec Nancy Lesser Sues TV Academy Over Broken Pelvis

    News Corp. has increased its stake in paybox Premiere to nearly 20%, solidifying expectations that the group is serious about its new German foothold. Move follows last month’s acquisition of a 14.58% stake in the feevee platform from regional cable group Unity Media, making News Corp. the single biggest shareholder in Premiere. On Thursday the […]

  • Scorpion-cbs TV Show

    How Scooter Braun Turned Luck With First Series 'Scorpion' Into Prolific TV Business

    News Corp. has increased its stake in paybox Premiere to nearly 20%, solidifying expectations that the group is serious about its new German foothold. Move follows last month’s acquisition of a 14.58% stake in the feevee platform from regional cable group Unity Media, making News Corp. the single biggest shareholder in Premiere. On Thursday the […]

  • Ted Sarandos Harvey Weinstein

    Netflix Won't Host Golden Globes Party With Weinstein Company

    News Corp. has increased its stake in paybox Premiere to nearly 20%, solidifying expectations that the group is serious about its new German foothold. Move follows last month’s acquisition of a 14.58% stake in the feevee platform from regional cable group Unity Media, making News Corp. the single biggest shareholder in Premiere. On Thursday the […]

  • Smilf The Good Doctor Will and

    Can 'SMILF,' 'Will & Grace,' 'The Good Doctor' Break Into Golden Globes Race?

    News Corp. has increased its stake in paybox Premiere to nearly 20%, solidifying expectations that the group is serious about its new German foothold. Move follows last month’s acquisition of a 14.58% stake in the feevee platform from regional cable group Unity Media, making News Corp. the single biggest shareholder in Premiere. On Thursday the […]

  • New Media old media shakeup

    Murdoch Sale Talks Underscore Digital's Effect in Disrupting Hollywood

    News Corp. has increased its stake in paybox Premiere to nearly 20%, solidifying expectations that the group is serious about its new German foothold. Move follows last month’s acquisition of a 14.58% stake in the feevee platform from regional cable group Unity Media, making News Corp. the single biggest shareholder in Premiere. On Thursday the […]

  • DANCING WITH THE STARS - "Episode

    TV Ratings: 'Dancing With the Stars' Closes on Low Note

    News Corp. has increased its stake in paybox Premiere to nearly 20%, solidifying expectations that the group is serious about its new German foothold. Move follows last month’s acquisition of a 14.58% stake in the feevee platform from regional cable group Unity Media, making News Corp. the single biggest shareholder in Premiere. On Thursday the […]

  • Dish Network

    Dish Urges Subscribers to Vent Frustrations to CBS Local Advertisers as Blackout Drags On

    News Corp. has increased its stake in paybox Premiere to nearly 20%, solidifying expectations that the group is serious about its new German foothold. Move follows last month’s acquisition of a 14.58% stake in the feevee platform from regional cable group Unity Media, making News Corp. the single biggest shareholder in Premiere. On Thursday the […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content