Murdoch in Italian pay-TV deal

TELECOM ITALIA and media magnate Rupert Murdoch (pictured) are reported to have finally reached a deal on a digital pay-TV venture, handing Murdoch's News Corp Europe a 70 per cent controlling stake.

Telecom's managing director, Franco Bernabe, is expected to unveil the deal to the board tomorrow and immediately afterwards to shareholders at a meeting in Turin. News Corp Europe, a unit of Murdoch's News Corp empire, would take 70 per cent of Telecom's loss-making television unit Stream, the vehicle for the new digital satellite venture. Telecom would have 20 per cent. Industry sources said Mr Murdoch is prepared to offer $500m a year for the digital rights for all 38 Serie A and Serie B soccer clubs for five years from next season