News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch would be interested in PCCW's Now Broadband TV if the two groups bidding for the Hong Kong phone company's core telecommunications assets failed, the Australian reported yesterday. Mr Murdoch also said in the same interview that Li Ka-shing had offered to buy the phone and media assets of PCCW but his son Richard Li Tzar-kai refused. A Cheung Kong (Holdings) spokeswoman did not return calls for comment, while PCCW's spokeswoman declined to comment. Mr Murdoch's remarks came after the Australian, owned by News Corp, on Wednesday reported that the media giant might take a 20 per cent stake in Macquarie Bank's bid for PCCW's assets. In an interview with the paper published yesterday, Mr Murdoch however cast doubt on whether Macquarie's $55 billion bid would be successful. He said that something went wrong in Macquarie's communications of its intention with Beijing officials, and if the bank managed to reverse the current hostile situation 'it would be an amazing achievement'. State-owned China Network Communications Group, PCCW's second-largest shareholder with a 20 per cent stake, said it did not want to see any changes to PCCW's telecommunications assets last week. On Wednesday, the company's stance remained unchanged, spokesman Li Tao said. Last week, Macquarie Bank and TPG-Newbridge revised their proposals to China Network Communications including a 50 per cent stake in a new firm that would be created to hold PCCW's assets and slated for an initial public offering. Mr Murdoch said because Now Broadband TV had been successful in Hong Kong and that it carried all News Corp's channels, the company held talks with Macquarie regarding its interests in PCCW's telecommunications business. BNP Paribas Peregrine analyst Marvin Lo said it would be difficult for any buyer to solely acquire the Now Broadband TV unit without the fixed-line telecommunications business, as Now TV was built upon the fixed-line broadband network of PCCW. 'Now TV needs the network to support it, I am very doubtful over how a new owner can implement its business without also buying the fixed network,' he said.