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    re: APPROVAL OF PAYTV MERGER ARRANGEMENTS Approval of the Optus-FoxTel Pay TV merger arrangements.

    Depending upon the nature of the undertakings being provided (including the additional undertakings of last week), this should be a positive for Telstra.

    Approval will, however, be positive to each of the following stocks:

    1)
    SGT
    - reduces cost profile, improves bundling opportunities, improves competitive position.

    2)
    PBL
    - improves valuations of FoxTel, improves valuations of, profitability and revenue profile of Fox Sports, improves marketing and distribution opportunities (particularly given that PBL is also a JV partner in the Movie Partnership consortium which supplies the movie feed into Optus).

    3)
    NCP
    - improves valuations of FoxTel, improves valuations of, profitability and revenue profile of Fox Sports, improves marketing and distribution opportunities (particularly in relation to its movie stock, its serialised programming, and its Fox News Channel).

    4)
    SEV
    - should improve opportunities for access to the digitised Foxtel network, as well as immediate prospects of access to the anaalogue network (perhaps on a non-tiered basis). Otherwise, improves production opportunities through production efforts involving Granada.

    5)
    TMS - This one is a bit strange in the context of the ayTV landscape. But, consider this: TMS already provides much of the original OB broadcasting and studio broadcasting for FoxTel. In a digitised environment, the demand for content will increase dramatically. TMS is the only OB broadcaster in Australia with sufficient OB vans (18 in all, 4 of which are described as super trucks, or semi-trailers, and most of which have now been digitised) in place to handle the increased OB /studio production demands going forward.

    6)
    SSR
    - This is a mild positive to SSR as it opens up the opportunity for SSR to engage in various production deals (some of which are already being done in collaboration with TMS) and for these deals to be taken to the PayTV landscape.

    7)
    BECKER
    - For the same reasons as for SSR (except that Becker also holds the distribution rights to numerous movie /production titles in Australia, some of which were acquired from TMS in 1999 in return for TMS taking a 10%+ shareholding in Becker).

 
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