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News Corp to ramp up 3D programming

News Corp is to ramp up its production of 3D programming following the success of James Cameron’s blockbuster movie Avatar.

The media company, which operates the Fox network, the 20th Century Fox studio and numerous international broadcasters and production companies, has also ruled out acquiring the MGM and Miramax film libraries despite their value in the international TV market.

Speaking to investors following the company’s latest financial results, which saw it make US$254 million profit for the three months to December, Rupert Murdoch said: “You’ll see more 3D films, but more fundamentally, there will be exponential growth in 3D programming in the next couple of years.” He pointed to the upcoming launch of a number of 3D channels including one by News Corp-owned satellite pay TV broadcaster BSkyB.

The company is also in talks with Cameron for a sequel for Avatar, which has smashed box office records around the world.

Murdoch also ruled out acquiring the film libraries of private equity-owned MGM and Disney-owned Miramax. “The big one MGM, is for the most part very old. We’d be interested, but it appears that other people are more interested so I think you can count us out of that one altogether. And we don’t know how that will end up. And then I can rule out Miramax right away,” he said. Chief operating officer Chase Carey added: “The flip side is the television market, particularly overseas, is pretty healthy.”

The company is also considering a move for Conan O’Brien following the late night host’s acrimonious exit from NBC. “If, certainly if the program people can show us that we could do it, and be fairly confident of making a profit on it, we’d do it in a flash, but we’re giving it a lot of thought and a lot of examination,” said Murdoch.