Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista may enter partnership with Rupert Murdoch to buy a TV broadcaster in Brazil.
Excellent: Brazilians will now know what it is like to have a foreigner with deep pockets, murky motives, and Machiavellian methods attempting to influence public opinion in someone else’s country.
Seriously, though: if true, the deal for the SBT network could represent a further erosion of the Globo-Record TV duopoly. In recent years, SBT has overtaken Record on occasion in the ratings but tends to lose share.
Australian magnate Rupert Murdoch recently approached Eike Batista to propose a TV partnership in Brazil, according to Veja magazine’s “Radar” column, dated September 30.
According to the Veja columnist, Murdoch would take a 30% share.
This represents the maximum stake a foreign company may take in a national media group, by law.
This potential partnership is cited as a principal motivation for Batista’s desire to acquire the SBT network, the columnist said.
A second motive for considering such a deal, allegedly, is that it comes at the request of former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who is close to Batista.
Lula participated in the 2009 inaguration of the Record News channel, which has proven itself a worthy rival to the dominant Globo and, if not a constant supporter of the Lula government then a more fair and balanced news source.
Lula reportedly asked Batista to “think kindly” about the deal. Bastista has not yet broached the matter with SBT owner Silvio Santos.
According to Veja, that is. Exame, Veja‘s sister publication at Abril, adds:
This week, Glamurama published an interview in which Batista expresses interest in buying SBT. “It is a genuine interest on my part, but I have not made an offer yet. The time comes in which it is good to own media,” Batista reportedly said.
The public relations office of EBX says that Batista denies an interest in acquiring SBT.diz que o empresário nega ter interesse na compra do SBT.
Batista’s comments to Glamurama:
If you become the owner of SBT, what would you do to change its programming? “I like shows about health, documentaries and educational shows.” But what about the ratings, Eike? Will it be a nonprofit channel? “I see life through rose-colored glasses. That is how things must be. Los Angeles is a dangerous city, but when we talk about it, all we remember is the glamour and the red carpet. I know the foreigners and I see that their coverage of Brazil drives tourists away. This is not good for our development.”