Television

News Corp, Liberty Media exploring DirecTV bid

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COLORADO: Media conglomerates Liberty Media and News Corp are exploring the possibility of jointly acquiring top U.S. satellite TV service DirecTV. Liberty owns an 18 per cent stake in News Corp.

Liberty Media's CEO Robert Bennett has been quoted in a Reuters report saying that News Corp would be the preferred partner. Rupert Murdoch has been trying for quite a while now to get his hands on DirecTV as this would give News Corp the missing piece of a global satellite network. It would be financially advantageous for the two parties to proceed together as opposed to launching separate bids.

Earlier this year, the proposed merger between Echostar and Hughes fell through. This was because the US anti-trust officials felt that consumers in rural areas without access to cable TV would have no choice but to subscribe to the merged group's services.

The federal communications commission (FFC) had voted unanimously to oppose the merger. The merger would have created the largest pay TV service. The FCC should not have a problem if General Motors is favourable towards the joint bid as News Corp does not have a strong presence in the US satellite market.

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