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Murdoch in 'unpopular' shock - 29-December-2010, 12:10

Murdoch in 'unpopular' shock
by Chris Newbould on Dec 28, 2010

Only one in twenty of the UK public support Rupert Murdochs bid to take over the 61 per cent of BSkyB he does not already own, according to a new survey.

The survey, commissioned by a number of British media organisations including Guardian Media Group, British Telecom, Associated Newspapers, Northcliffe Media, Trinity Mirror and Telegraph Media Group, found that even among supporters of the Conservative Party, Murdochs traditional allies, 43 per cent were against the deal. The figure was even higher, at 53 per cent, among LibDem voters, of whom 25 per cent were strongly opposed.

Overall, a mere five percent supported the deal, while 44 per cent were against. The remaining respondents either had no strong opinion or were unsure.

Many in the UK media argue that were Murdochs News Corp to successfully gain control of BSkyB, the UKs biggest pay-TV provider, it would put him in a Berlusconi-like position of control over much of the countrys mainstream media.

The UK culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, is to make a decision on whether to refer the takeover to the UKs Competition Commission by January 15th. This decision was originally due to be taken by business secretary Vince Cable, however he was stripped of the responsibility after being caught on tape by undercover journalists, posing as Cables constituents, declaring war on Murdoch.

In an added layer of intrigue, the journalists were not from a Murdoch-owned organ, but prominent member of the anti-takeover campaign the Telegraph. To complicate matters further, the Telegraph declined to publish the story, at which point it was leaked to Murdoch Bete-noir, the BBC, which in a noble gesture of political impartiality, though a questionable one of self-preservation, did indeed run with it.

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