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MURDOCH LOOKING TO MAKE MORE OF A MARK IN EUROPEAN SOCCER
Published September 18, 1998
Rupert Murdoch "is poised to team with" Telecom Italia, a private telecommunications group, to bid $2.2B for a six- year pay-TV contract for Italian soccer, according to Paul Betts of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Although Telecom "is ready to sign the agreement," Betts writes that the deal "hinges on negotiations with RAI, the Italian state broadcasting network." Telecom and RAI were in talks last night "to try to agree to a partnership to launch a pay-television platform" to compete against Italian pay-TV network Telepiu, which is controlled by France's Canal Plus. The proposal includes the "creation of a joint holdings company" between Telecom and RAI, "which in turn would control a series of pay-TV networks." Murdoch "would then invest in the planned soccer network" and bid for the rights (FIN. TIMES, 9/18).