Germany’s Vox near package for Fox pix

BERLIN — German commercial weblet Vox is on the verge of purchasing a film package from 20th Century Fox, Vox managing director Markus Tellenbach said Thursday.

The package includes the free-TV rights to movies produced from 1996-98, including “Independence Day.” Vox already holds rights to Fox TV productions.

Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch owns a 49.9% share in the weblet, which had ratings of only 2.5% in the first half of 1997. By supplying Vox with choice programming, Murdoch is believed to be warding off the efforts of Vox shareholder CLT-UFA (24.9%) to pull Vox into a proposed holding structure headed up by top-rated German network RTL. According to Tellenbach, Vox intends to remain independent and will continue to offer firstrun programming.

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