Murdoch to invest in Dutch cable soccer broadcaster

AMSTERDAM Wed Aug 8, 2012 7:19am EDT

CEO of News Corp Rupert Murdoch attends the Allen & Co Media Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho July 13, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

CEO of News Corp Rupert Murdoch attends the Allen & Co Media Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho July 13, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Jim Urquhart

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AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Rupert Murdoch's international media business, FOX International Channels (FIC), is to buy a majority stake in a Dutch cable television soccer broadcaster, in a deal media reports said was worth around 1 billion euros ($1.24 billion).

FIC will acquire a 51 percent stake in Eredivisie Media & Marketing CV (EMM), which holds the rights to broadcast Dutch league soccer, the Dutch company said in a statement on Wednesday.

The move into Dutch sports broadcasting by the media mogul comes as he was forced out of some publishing activities in the United Kingdom, where his newspapers were hit by a phone-hacking scandal.

The companies did not provide financial details, but Dutch media reports said the investment was worth around a billion euros through 2025 and included 60 million euros in debt.

The Dutch acquisition has been unanimously approved by EMM's shareholders, the statement said.

EMM was established in 2008 by the 18 Dutch league clubs and media company Endemol.

(Reporting By Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford)

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