[photopress:mobilephone_1.jpg,full,alignright]The sale by News Corp of a 19.9-percent stake in Hong Kong-based Phoenix Satellite Television to China Mobile, the mainland’s largest mobile phone operator, has been approved. It was announced some months ago but this is the official approval.
The purchase will make China Mobile the second-largest shareholder of the broadcaster after Phoenix chairman Liu Changle, who holds 37.5 percent of the company. After the deal, Star Group will hold a 17.6-percent stake in Phoenix. It was unclear what News Corp will do with its remaining shares in the broadcaster.
What this deal is about is the ability of the Chinese mobile operator to offer TV content over its future 3G services. In exchange for direct access to China Mobiles network and customer base on favourable terms, China Mobile will have preferential access to Phoenix’s news and selected programs.
All of this is predicated on an assumption that the public will use its mobiles to watch television. As yet this has not been tested in real life. As our picture shows, most mobile phones are used for making and receiving calls. Going to the movies is not yet an established mobile phone practice.
Source: Most wire services
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