20 October, 2020

Star Trekking Ahead

Murdoch meets Deve Gowda with big plans for India

Star Trekking Ahead

WHEN the News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch, unarguably the most puissant citizen of the global village, flew in on his private jet for a mystery pow-wow with brand-new Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda and left hours later just as unobtrusively as he had arrived, he wasn't just testing the postelection political waters. He was doing precisely what he has always been a past master at. Setting the pace.

Besides hyper-activating the rumour mills, Murdoch's upfront request for uplinking rights in India has sent a buzz of excitement through the satellite TV industry. Says the India CEO of a 24-hour American channel: "The visit is bound to have far-reaching repercussions. The next few weeks will be crucial as the Government weighs the pros and cons of granting uplinking rights to private broadcasters."

The secrecy that veiled Murdoch's latest sojourn was rather surprising. The last time he was here—in February 1994—his whereabouts were public knowledge as he went about meeting the high and mighty, including then prime...



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