Rupe eyes stake in India

Mogul places emphasis on high-tech development

NEW DELHI — Media mogul Rupert Murdoch plans to strengthen News Corp.’s position in India through a revitalization of satcaster Star TV and an emphasis on high-tech development. Murdoch is on his third trip to India to explore investment possibilities in TV channels and information technology.

Murdoch said the company plans to turn Star into “an aggressive player” with a “dominant market share.” Murdoch told the Indian press that he intends to invest several hundred million dollars in India over a period of two years for efforts including the launch of channels in the six main languages of India.

Investment plans

News Corp. also plans to invest more than $200 million in Internet-related ventures in India. Murdoch said he would disclose the majority of his investment plans next month.

The media baron’s trip began with a visit to the state capital Bangalore on Saturday, to meet the heads of various media companies and have an audience with the chief minister of the state of Karnataka on March 13.The other important appointments yet to be confirmed are in the hands of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Information and Broadcast Minister Arun Jaitley.

News Corp. also unveiled its plan to reduce its stake in local media player UTV to 15%. It previously held a 37% stake in the company.

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