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Murdoch and Canal Plus End Talks

March 05, 1999| From Bloomberg News

PARIS — Rupert Murdoch and Canal Plus broke off talks on a possible linkup of Europe's two biggest pay-TV broadcasters, marking another setback in Murdoch's efforts to gain a foothold in continental Europe.

Canal Plus said Chief Executive Pierre Lescure told Murdoch at a meeting in Paris on Wednesday that he would consider a linkup with No. 2 British Sky Broadcasting, 40% controlled by Murdoch's News Corp., only if Canal Plus retained management control. BSkyB declined to comment.

BSkyB approached Canal Plus after Murdoch dropped a plan to invest in Telecom Italia's Stream pay-TV service when it became clear he would not be able to get broadcast rights to all of Italy's top soccer games. Previous talks with the Kirch Group to enter the German market were unsuccessful.

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