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FALLOUT FROM FOX DECISION; NCTA CONVENTION BEGINS IN DALLAS
Published May 8, 1995
Fallout continues from the FCC's ruling that Fox iwll not have to restructire its U.S. station holdings despite News Corp.'s foreign ownership. Through a "combination of tenacity and timing," News Corp. Chair Rupert Murdoch "came through the investigation untouched," according to Bill Carter of the N.Y. TIMES. One senior exec at a competing network: "He lost on the law and he still won." The ruling could set a precedent on foreign investment in U.S. broadcasting interests, with Seagram's CEO Edgar Bronfman, Jr. a possible beneficiary. Although Seagrams is a Canadian company, Bronfman could be in a position to buy a network, possibly CBS, if his deal to purchase MCA/Universal goes through (N.Y. TIMES, 5/8). FCC Chair Reed Hundt, in a meeting with editors of the BOSTON GLOBE, denied that commissioners and staff had disagreed about whether to force a restructuring. Hundt: "Everybody got that completely wrong, and no one corrected it" (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/6). BUSINESS WEEK examines Murdoch's political influence and how "his deft courtship of high powered Republicans" may have helped (Mark Lewyn, BUSINESS WEEK, 5/15 issue). NCTA MEETS IN DALLAS: Previewing the National Cable TV Association's convention in Dallas, NEWSDAY's Robin Schatz writes that the major premium channels "saw the best increases in their subscriber bases in years." And 1995 is looking to be another strong year. The reason, according to analysts, is cable operators "turned their attention to the unregulated portion of their business to generate more sales, offering consumers better package deals and promoting the pays channels more aggressively" (NEWSDAY, 5/8).