News Corp. bows studio plans

'Millionaire' to launch in India

News Corp. is ramping up its presence in India. Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch last week told Vilasrao Deshmukh, chief minister of the state of Maharashtra, that he will establish a film studio in Mumbai. Studio will be formally unveiled in September and may also involve steel baron P.K. Mittal. Both Mittal and Deshmukh met with Murdoch in Los Angeles last week.

Murdoch is also intensifying his media presence in India by pumping more funds into the Star Plus channel. Web recently launched a Hindi-lingo entertainment channel and will spend some $11 million for promotion over the next year.

The channel is also betting on its format of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” which will feature Indian superstar Amitabh Bachchan as host. Show launches this week.

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