XFMedia gets into China pay-TV

Buys into operator of four China channels

NEW YORK -- Beijing-based Xinhua Finance Media said it soon will  control a majority interest in companies operating four digital pay  TV channels in China at time of rapid growth in the sector.

Nasdaq-listed XFMedia -- which runs English- and Chinese-language business newswires and launched an entertainment company in March -- said in a statement Thursday that it would buy China Media Network, a 49% owner of Tianjin Shidai Tianchuang, operator of the four channels.

The move, which XFMedia said was designed to expand the reach of its print, broadcast and advertising content, comes as China's digital pay TV connections are expected to grow to 123 million by 2013, from 27.3 million in 2007, according to a report from Informa Telecoms and Media Group.

The planned purchase of China Media Network for $15 million and 2 million shares is dependent upon Tianjin Shidai's repositioning of the four channels "to further expand their reach into China's upwardly mobile demographic," XFMedia said.

The company could not be reached for comment.