Maffei: Liberty-News Corp. Talks Progressing

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Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei said talks between his company and News Corp. on a potential swamp of the former’s stake in the latter for assets owned by News Corp. are progressing, AP reported (www.multichannel.com/article/CA6383582.html).

Maffei told analysts during a conference call that Liberty remains interested in acquiring News Corp.'s 38% stake in direct-broadcast satellite provider DirecTV Group or another asset on a tax-efficient basis, according to AP.

“While I'm not sure where our negotiations with News will take us, one of the elements of a DirecTV deal that is appealing is the flexibility we would have,” he said on the call, AP reported.

Also on the call, Liberty reported results for its Liberty Interactive unit, which includes QVC and other interactive businesses, AP reported, adding that Liberty Interactive revenue rose 15% and operating cash flow was up 20% on the back of strong results at QVC, which reported a 12% increase in revenue to $1.65 billion.

At the company’s Starz Entertainment programming unit, revenue of $253 million was up 3% versus the year-ago quarter, which Liberty attributed to an increase in the average number of subscription units for services, and operating income rose to $40 million from $35 million, while operating costs rose 5% due to higher programming expenses, AP reported.

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