Global Digest

Global Digest

MTV says it is hoping to get a 24-hour-a-day licence for its channel in China to take full advantage of the youth in the world's biggest cable television market. China is the only country in which MTV operates that it does not run a 24-hour channel.

Portugal is to pull the plug on a channel at the money-losing state television network. Presidency Minister Nuno Morais Sarmento says the government wants to trim the two channels on state network RTP to a single public
service channel.

Spanish telecom giant Telefonica and pay-TV company Sogecable announced last week they would merge their digital platforms to create a monopoly with more than 2.5 million household clients, although the deal could face competition challenges, as Spain will be left with a single pay-TV company.

The Brazilian Senate has approved in the first reading of a media bill that would allow foreign investors to partially buy into its media firms. The bill proposes a constitutional change to permit foreigners to own up to 30% of voting shares in newspapers, radio and television broadcasters.

Liberty Media Corp, the investment company run by John Malone, said it would buy a controlling interest in interactive television company OpenTV Corp. Liberty said it will acquire a 43% economic stake and is to form Liberty Broadband Interactive Television Inc to manage the OpenTV investment. California-based OpenTV provides interactive television services to more than 24 million homes.

DMG World media is planning to up its stakes in the North American market and has moved its chief executive Mike Cooke to California to head the expansion. The publishing and exhibition arm of Daily Mail & General Trust believes that there are more business opportunities available in the US and aims to up its share from 50% to 75% in the next three years.

E-mailing was the most popular online activity in 12 countries during the past six months, according to Nielsen// NetRatings' First Quarter 2002 Global Internet Trends report. At least 75% of households with internet access participated in e-mail, the research found. The trend was more pronounced in the more developed markets of the UK, Australia and the Netherlands, where 90% of adults used e-mail.

ValueClick, the digital advertising firm, has reported global revenues of $12.4m (£8.5m) for the first quarter of this year, representing a decrease of almost three per cent year on year. The company, which is in the process of merging with marketing technology specialists Be Free, suffered pre-tax losses of $1.3m (£0.8m).

Tiscali has recruited Beatrice Niedda, former Luxottica marketing and communications manager, as senior vice-president for strategic marketing and communication in Europe and South Africa. Monica Gallinardi is promoted to vice-president of product and customer management.

Havas-owned MPG is thought to be the first company to plan to relocate to the area of Lower Manhattan since September 11. The media agency will move approximately 215 staff into the new offices in early 2003 as it consolidates its four New York offices into one.

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