News Corp Close On $2B Deal for Consolidated Media
News Corp’s $A1.94B ($2.02B) bid for Consolidated Media Holdings moved forward after a majority of CMH’s directors urged shareholders to accept the offer at a special meeting on October 31. The move suggests Seven Group Holdings, which owns 24% of CMH, has decided not to launch a counterbid for the media investment company which owns 25% of Australian pay-TV platform Foxtel and 50% of the lucrative Fox Sports channels. Seven asked the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to review whether it could buy the balance of the shares. The regulator said its preliminary view was that the proposed acquisition was likely to raise competition concerns by limiting the ability of the Seven Network’s rival free-to-air channels from bidding for premium sporting rights. The regulator’s decision is expected on October 11. If News succeeds it will have 50% of Foxtel and will wholly own Fox Sports. – Don Groves
Asia-Pacific Sees Rise In Number Of Digital Movie Theater Screens
Asia-Pacific saw a 28 percent increase in the number of digital movie theater screens in the first half of 2012, according to an IHS Screen Digest Cinema Intelligence Report. This brings the region’s share of global digital cinema screens to 25.2%, behind North America at 41.1%. Western Europe is third with 23.6%. In the United States, Regal Cinemas leads the U.S. theater circuit, with more than 88 percent digitized, ahead of the national average of 73 percent.
Leadership Change For Viacom International Media Networks’ Tr3s
Fernando Gaston, currently SVP of Content and Creative for MTV, VH1 and Comedy Central Latin America will expand his role to become Brand Manager of the company’s US Hispanic network Tr3s: MTV, Música y Más. Federico Cuervo, currently VP of Programming and Production for MTV, VH1 and Comedy Central Latin America, will replace Gaston as Brand Manager of Comedy Central Latin America. Gaston will lead the content and creative for the company’s music and entertainment brands, including Tr3s in the US, and MTV and VH1 in Latin America. As Brand Manager of Comedy Central Latin America, Cuervo will spearhead the branding and programming strategies for the company’s adult-targeted brand.