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News Corp buys up real estate channel

News Corp’s Fox International Channels (FIC) division has continued to buy up specialist digital channels by taking a controlling stake in a UK-based property-themed network.

Real Estate TV (RETV), launched three years ago, is carried in the UK by News Corp-owned Sky Digital, as well as digital networks BT Vision and Virgin TV, and through the channel’s own online portal.

The channel addresses the needs of viewers interested in real estate, and according to MD Mark Dodd, who retains his position, the FIC buy-out significantly strengthens the channel’s standing with both content producers and advertisers.

“By becoming part of FIC’s international bouquet of channels, RETV will be able to leverage the company’s publishing, online and other channels to further improve our viewers’ experience while enhancing at the same time the value proposition we can offer to our advertisers,” he commented.

Along with these cross-promotional efforts and acquired programming library expansion, RETV will be producing a range of new property series, aimed at both entertaining and educating its target audience this year.

David Haslingden, CEO of FIC, said: “RETV is addressing an attractive and under-served media market with strong growth potential. Our strategy has always been to find innovative brands that satisfy market gaps and then use our distribution power and know-how to extend these globally. He added that FIC will now “work aggressively to roll out the RETV service to other key markets around the world.”

The company will relocate to join FX and another recently acquired FIC channel, Baby TV, in FIC’s London office. FIC is also now home to the New Zealand-based documentary prodco NHNZ, previously part of Fox TV Studios.

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