Liberty Media Corp. chairman John Malone hinted that he might have his eye
on Vivendi Universal's Universal Studios and USA Networks Inc., Dow Jones
Malone, speaking at a breakfast organized by Syracuse University's S.I.
Newhouse School of Public Communications in New York Wednesday, asked, 'Wouldn't
it be dandy if we could combine certain cable assets [Vivendi has] with [USA
Interactive chairman Barry] Diller's management skills into a bigger programming
entity in the United States?'
Through Liberty, Malone owns about 4 percent to 5 percent of Vivendi and 20
percent to 25 percent of USA, by his own estimates.
He added that Liberty's Starz Encore Group LLC unit -- which operates premium
cable networks that show first-run movies and other film selections -- 'would
make a very nice fit' with the Universal film library and the USA cable
channels, which include USA Network and Sci Fi Channel.
The combination, he said, could potentially create 'some
very real synergies if it made economic sense to do so.'