News Corp chief Rupert Murdoch has said he is no longer interested in buying a majority stake in UK satcaster BSkyB and now plans to invest more in the US.
Speaking to his own Fox Business channel, Murdoch said his company had “moved on” after his group’s efforts to buy the 60.9% of UK satcaster BSkyB that it didn’t already own were derailed by the phone-hacking scandal in Britain.
“There were billions and billions of dollars and if Britain didn’t want them, we have good places to put them here [in the US]. I am much more bullish on America than I am about England,” Murdoch said.
Murdoch added that he is now reluctant to invest in “new things” in Britain because of its economy and “the English” in general.
Turning to the States, Murdoch said he was optimistic that advertising revenues for his TV business in the US would continue to “hold on very well.”
However, he conceded that it was “a little harder this year that it has been in previous years” for his channels during the recent US Upfronts. “The money is coming in to cable channels,” he said.
Asked about potential acquisitions in the US, Murdoch said News Corp would continue to buy back stock and be “opportunistic” in what it acquires. “But we don’t have anything on the plate at the moment that hasn’t already been announced,” he said.
Murdoch was speaking after News Corp yesterday revealed it would begin splitting its business into two. One arm will be a global media and entertainment firm housing its Fox network and 20th Century Fox studio along with Shine Group and the BSkyB and Star pay-TV businesses.
He denied the move could be construed as an attempt to separate potential litigation away from News Corp’s more profitable global media and entertainment firm. The restructuring of News Corp had “nothing to do at all” with the hacking scandal, he said.