Murdoch makes $2 billion pay TV play

Rupert Murdoch has made a $1.97 billion bid to take a dominant slice of Australia's pay television industry.

News Ltd, the Australian arm of global media giant News Corp, has offered to take full control of James Packer's Consolidated Media, News' 50:50 joint owner of Fox Sports.

The takeover would also increase News' stake in Foxtel from 25 per cent to 50 per cent, making it a joint owner with Telstra.

Mr Packer, whose Consolidated Press Holdings (CPH) owns a controlling stake in Cons Media, said he would support the proposal.

"CPH welcomes News' proposal and looks forward to (Cons Media) and News working together to address the detailed terms and conditions," Mr Packer said in a statement.

News has offered $3.50 for each Cons Media share, valuing the company at $1.966 billion.

The offer remains subject to many conditions, most notably approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

The News Corp board must also approve the deal.

The offer is indicative and there is no guarantee a deal will be done, News said.

Shares in News Corp and Consolidated Media are due to resume trading at 1100 AEST.

Consolidated Media shares closed at $3.08 on Tuesday, while News Corp finished at $20.04.

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