Mumbai: Fox News Channel, the US channel that is part of Rupert Murdoch-controlled News Corp., plans to enter India in an attempt to target what it sees as growing demand for international business news here and has tied up with Tata Sky, a direct-to-home service provider. The channel is currently awaiting regulatory approval to beam into India.
“We have been planning this launch for a year now. The demographic and the economic profile of India is very attractive,” said Vipp Jaswal, head, international affairs, FoxNews Channel.
UK’s British Broadcasting Corp.’s BBC World and the US-based Time Warner Co.’s CNN already beam into India and even offer some Indian content. However, Jaswal said Fox would provide an “undiluted US feed”.
News Corp.’s Indian subsidiary Star India Pvt. Ltd holds a 26% stake in Media Content and Communications Services India Pvt. Ltd, which operates the Star News channel here. ABP Pvt. Ltd holds the remaining stake. Star India also has a 20% stake in Tata Sky Ltd, the company that offers the Tata Sky service. The Tata group holds the remaining 70%.
News Corp. plans to make Fox News content available on mobile phones and has tied up with the mobile services arm of Star India for this.
“We are the fastest growing mobile market in the world and there is a huge chunk of consumers, such as business analysts, the IT and BPO crowd and stock market experts who want access to global news on a real time basis. Our service will be targeted at them,” said Viren Popli, senior vice-president, mobile entertainment, Star India. Both Fox News channel and the Fox Business channel will be available to Indian mobile phone subscribers from 1 January.
Last week, Dow Jones & Co. shareholders approved a $5.6 billion (Rs22,064 crore) buyout by News Corp. Dow Jones publishes The Wall Street Journal, which has an exclusive content partnership with Mint in India.