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News Corp to venture into French pay-TV service

Murdoch group set to make first foray into French TV market.

Media reports indicate that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp is contemplating the acquisition of France Telecom/Orange's French pay TV channels.

France Telecom has been planning to sell its Orange-branded IPTV channels, which has 713,000 subscribers and also include a Video on demand service.

The sale of the channels also involves the telecom company's Orange Cinema and Orange Sport packages.

France Telecom chief executive Stephane Richard said the company is looking to sell the channels in the next few weeks and is keen to concentrate on its core telecommunications business. The company will reportedly be investing €2bn by 2015 in a new domestic fibre-optic network.

The deal is expected to provide a huge boost to News Corp, which currently does not own any pay-TV channel in France. It does, however, own the Sky Deutschland pay-TV service in Germany.