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News Corp eyes Orange channels in France

News Corp is eyeing the acquisition of France Telecom/Orange’s pay-TV channels, according to press reports. This would be a significant step for Rupert Murdoch’s media company and would ramp up Murdoch’s interests in the country.

Currently, News Corp only operates a handful of Fox International Channel-owned networks including Nat Geo, but this move could give it access to Orange Cinema Series’ bouquet of five movie, sports and entertainment channels.

France Telecom CEO Stephane Richard is reportedly looking to sell a number of channels in the next few weeks and told local press that it is keen to concentrate on its core telephony business, rather than continue its feud with rival pay broadcaster Canal Plus.

Orange Cinema Series currently has a number of volume deals with the Hollywood studios including HBO, Warner Bros International Television Distribution and Disney Media Networks.