News Corp. (NWS) is paying $422 million cash for a 14.5% in German pay-cable company Premiere A.G. We will confess to ignorance about the German cable market, but we do know that international cable and satellite are an important part of Rupert Murdoch’s strategy — unlike its more speculative bets on ventures like MySpace and Dow Jones, international TV provides News Corp. with near-term growth. Expect more of these in the future.
“Pay-TV is a core business for News Corporation and it’s a category that’s thriving across Europe with a multitude of new services and innovations. We see enormous potential for growth in Germany and believe the time is right to invest in its foremost pay-TV business, Premiere,” said Rupert Murdoch, News Corporation’s Chairman and Chief Executive.
With over 10 million viewers and more than four million subscribers, Premiere AG is the leading pay-TV operator in Germany and Austria.
News Corporation’s European pay-TV holdings include a 39 per cent stake in BSkyB, the number one pay-television group in the U.K. with more than 8.7 million subscribers, and its wholly-owned Sky Italia, Italy’s leading pay-television provider with over four million subscribers.
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