Date: 18th October 2000

Will Diller,Backed By Vivendi, Make Another Play For NBC

Rupert Murdoch told a News Corp shareholders meeting in Australia today (Wednesday) that while his Fox Entertainment Group has had "a great start" in its current fiscal year and "an extremely good October," he is concerned about the immediate future. Murdoch said that he was particularly concerned about the company's TV operations.

"I have to say the immediate future for ours and our competitors' looks a little uncertain," Murdoch said. He added: "There are signs of weakness in the next couple of months." The News Corp chairman also skirted a question about his planned timing for a public offering of Sky Global Network, the company's satellite TV operations. "I'm not prepared to give you an exact date. We're in negotiations with potential strategic partners and we hope to have a very successful float of that in the near future," he said. Analysts suggested that given current market conditions, the Sky Global IPO may be a long way off.

Shares in News Corp dropped 5 percent on the Australian stock exchange following Murdoch's remarks.

Source: Studio Briefing