Malone Backs Murdoch's Hughes Bid


Ending talk that News Corp. and Liberty Media Corp. might split in order to
make separate runs for DirecTV Inc. parent Hughes Electronics Corp., News Corp.
said Thursday night that it cut a deal with John Malone's Liberty that could see
the company invest $500 million in News Corp.

Liberty has six months to buy $500 million ordinary News Corp. American
depository receipts at $21.50 each, News Corp. said.

The hook: If Liberty doesn't exercise its right to buy the News Corp. ADRs
within six months, News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch can force Liberty to
invest the $500 million if News Corp. decides to acquire Hughes within two

Word also came Thursday night that Cablevision Systems Corp. may make a run
for DirecTV -- a move that could see chairman Chuck Dolan and president and CEO
Jim Dolan steal subscribers from fellow cable operators.

Cablevision is expected to submit a bid for the direct-broadcast satellite
company, which may be backed by Quadrangle Group LLC and other private equity
investors, Reuters reported.