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Murdoch Talks DirecTV, but Street Eyes the Data

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#1 OFFLINE   Steve Mehs

Steve Mehs

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 04:23 AM

News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch briefly talked about his company's planned acquisition of a controlling stake in Hughes and DirecTV during a conference call on fiscal third quarter results Tuesday. But analysts instead focused on the company's financials and strong performances from its TV and film units.

On the DirecTV takeover, Murdoch said, "Certainly this is a business with tremendous potential for both consumers and our company." He added that DirecTV and Hughes will face "very stiff competition in the United States from the larger and dominant cable companies. We look forward to this competition, and energizing the American multichannel market."

Once News Corp. has control of DirecTV platforms in North and South America, the media giant will have a global satellite TV reach serving 25 million viewers, Murdoch said during the conference call.

News Corp. reported that during its fiscal third quarter, which ended March 31, the company generated net income of $275 million and revenues of $982 million. Operating income at the company's television segment jumped 82 percent to $207 million, and News Corp.'s Filmed Entertainment unit reported a 25 percent increase in operating income, to $201 million.

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