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Murdoch's channel comes under scrutiny

Rupert Murdoch: his control over Star TV and the material it broadcasts has caused a stir in India

In the high-profile world of satellite broadcast television, foreign ownership and control are usually contentious issues. In India, earlier this year, foreign satellite news broadcasters were given three months to meet a new rule that caps foreign equity investment at 26% for TV news channels that broadcast to the country from home turf.

Media Content and Communication Services (MCCS), an affiliate of Star TV, the pan-Asian satellite TV company controlled by Rupert Murdoch, applied for a licence to send content to Star TV's news channel. Foreign-owned news channels such as Star News and CNBC began beaming news to Indian viewers almost five years before the new rules came into force.

MCCS's application came up for close scrutiny by the government after reports appeared in the local press alleging that it was a shell company controlled by Star. Those reports pointed out that MCCS is a content company that will sell its material solely to Star News and that the company's capital is just Rs100,000 (less than $2,000).

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