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News Corp expands in Central Asia, Middle East with Moby stake

Rupert MurdochRupert Murdoch’s News Corporation is to become a minority investor in the Dubai-based Moby Group, which counts a TV network in Afghanistan among its integrated media assets, reports.

The two companies are already partners in the Farsi-language venture Broadcast Middle East (BME). Under the new agreement, News Corp will contribute its 50% stake in BME for a stake instead in the Moby Group, and also provide growth capital for Moby to realise its expansion plans.

BME operates two Farsi-language channels, Farsi1 and Zemzemeh, which it claims now command a 45 million-strong Farsi speaking audience across Central Asia and the Middle East.

Following the arrangement, BME will become a wholly-owned Moby subsidiary, with its current chief executive Zaid Mohseni continuing in his role. Saad Mohseni will remain as the chairman of Moby Group.

“We are delighted to have in News Corporation both a partner with a long track record of growing entrepreneurial, innovative businesses and an investor that sees value in entering parts of the world which many media organizations have not traditionally looked to” said Saad Mohseni.

Moby’s brands in Afghanistan include Tolo TV, Lemar TV, Arman FM, Arakozia FM, Afghan Scene Magazine, Tolonews and Kaboora Production.