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Time Warner has rebuffed Rupert Murdoch’s $85 (U.S.)-a-share bid.
Time Warner has rebuffed Rupert Murdoch’s $85 (U.S.)-a-share bid.
(JESSICA RINALDI/Reuters)

The future is content – and Murdoch’s empire needs it

The unsolicited $80-billion (U.S.) takeover bid by 21st Century Fox Inc. for Time Warner Inc. shows that, at 83, Fox proprietor Rupert Murdoch has lost none of his taste for wheeling, dealing and risk-taking on a grandiose scale. But there is more method than madness at work here.

Fox, Time Warner and other traditional media powerhouses are facing a growing threat from the Netflixes, Amazons and newer digital players streaming original content directly for modest fees to whatever devices people choose to view it on. The old cable and satellite-TV subscriber model that ensured a steady flow of monthly income is in the midst of a long decline, and broadcasters face the same challenges as newspapers in retaining advertisers willing to pay premium rates.