Sat, Feb 07, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Hong Kong media mogul closing in on buying cable station

AFP , TAIPEI

Hong Kong media mogul Jimmy Lai (黎智英) is close to wrapping up a deal to acquire a Taiwanese cable TV station to further expand his operations in Taiwan, a source close to Lai said yesterday.

Lai, chairman of Hong Kong-listed Next Media, is likely to announce the deal as early as next week, the source said.

“It’s a cable station with a news channel,” the source said without elaborating.

The source denied Hong Kong newspaper reports published yesterday that Lai was going to take over Era TV (年代), saying the two sides had failed to reach an agreement on the price.

There are more than 100 cable TV channels in Taiwan, including seven news stations.

Lai has expanded his media empire in Taiwan since 2001, with the launch of the Taiwanese editions of the weekly Next Magazine and the Apple Daily newspaper. Both have been commercial successes.

But the two publications have drawn criticism at times from Taiwan’s media watchdog and the public for their muckraking style and graphic photos.

Lai is said to be keen to branch out into television in Taiwan. He last year reportedly went after the cash-strapped China Times Group, which also has a cable TV station.

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