Liberty Looks to Leverage DirecTV Deal

In for a tough battle with better positioned telcos, cable companies
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Feb 28, 2008 9:26 AM CST
Gregory Maffei, President and CEO of Liberty Media Corporation.   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Closing Liberty Media’s $12 billion deal for a 41% share of DirecTV took more than a year, but positioning the satellite-TV service to rival telcos and cable companies offering triple-play packages of TV, phone, and broadband could be a bigger test, reports the Wall Street Journal today. The deal with News Corp was finalized yesterday after the FCC OK’d it.

The satellite-TV industry, hamstrung by an inability to provide cheap phone and Internet service, has seen its growth slowed as telephone and cable companies offer full-service packages to homeowners at competitive prices. Liberty execs contend DirecTV’s HD programming and sports offerings puts them in a strong position. This year DirectTV launches on-demand video over the Internet, a response to cable pressure.