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News Corp. on Sat TV Bid: Not at a High Cost


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#1 OFFLINE   Steve Mehs

Steve Mehs

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Posted 13 February 2003 - 05:18 AM

News Corp. would like to have a U.S. satellite operation, but not at a high cost, executives with the media giant said Wednesday.

During an announcement of News Corp.'s fiscal second quarter results, officials quickly jumped on the speculation that they want DirecTV, saying a U.S. satellite TV platform would be a great addition but the company won't be drawn into a bidding war. Said News Corp. President Peter Chernin, "We think we have a realistic view of what it's worth."

Chernin said News Corp. sees three benefits with a U.S. satellite TV operation, saying there's good upside with the small dish business, possible synergies with its other worldwide satellite operations, and opportunities on the channel side "both defensively and offensively."

Chernin's comments came after News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch said in press reports that there are no firm discussions between the media giant and General Motors for its DirecTV and Hughes businesses. Said Murdoch, "If anybody makes impossible demands then we're quite happy to walk away from it."

For the fiscal quarter that ended Dec. 31, News Corp. reported consolidated revenues of $4.7 billion, a 14 percent increase over the $4.1 billion reported in the prior year, and consolidated operating income of $729 million, up 48 percent over $492 million reported a year ago.

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