Five Seconds With Rupert Murdoch

Posted by: Jon Fine on September 19, 2006

Five seconds with Rupert Murdoch, after he spoke on September 19 to a room full of investors at the Goldman Sachs Communicopia conference, elicits news that the long-promised Fox Business Channel will launch next year and that “we are hiring people” for said channel right now.

More Rupert, culled from his remarks to conference attendees:

By “this time next year,” [MySpace] will launch into “ten or eleven” additional countries.

A Chinese MySpace won’t be “censored” (roll your eyes if you must, I’m just telling you what the man said) and it’s likely that News Corp. will seek a 50/50 partnership with a China-based company to launch it: “We have to make MySpace a very Chinese site.”

He confirms MySpace is readying a big push into video (read the last paragraph here), and as such will take on YouTube much more aggressively “within 60, 70 days.”

As for whether MySpace has proven effective in pushing traffic to other News Corp sites? “No. We haven’t tried it.”

Regarding Fox News Channel leverage in ongoing negotiations with cable systems owners: “Our audience is passionate about Fox News. Anyone who drops that off [a cable system] will be in big trouble. Direct TV and Echostar will be in there picking over the bones as fast as they can.”

The Fox program that’s most downloaded right now: Prison Break. “It doesn’t make us a fortune” since Fox’s take is around “a dollar, or 95 cents each download. But it’s in the hundreds of thousands each week—pretty good.”

Reader Comments

Don

September 20, 2006 11:41 AM

Despite Fox New's virtual plummet in popularity- could you imagine a manager publicly saying he watches O'Reilly in 2006, as was often the case around meetings in 2003? I believe Murdoch is correct, cable systems that remove FNC from their lineup will be faced with a small vocal minority. One can bet that FNC will not be a Left Business Observor, and perhaps Murdoch understands his target market enough to know that cross-promotion will bring over the stodgier C-Level eyeballs. Of course, if all he needs to do is flex his muscle so that cable providers will add the channel, he will and they will and lo and behold at the local Comcast Community Health Fair in 2007 the actor who voices Stewie will make an appearance.

By all look of things Youtube may be the next Napster, soon supplanted by better-organized players with feet in the door. The world definitely does not need multiple video sites and I think we're in for competition driving down the user experience.

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