It may sound a bit far-fetched, but CNBC ace David Faber reported late Thursday that News Corp. is holding talks with John Malone’s Liberty Media that could result in Malone taking control of DirecTV in exchange for Liberty’s $10 billion stake in News Corp.
“The on-again, off-again talks have picked up significant momentum of late, according to people familiar with the situation. And the possibility of a tax-free exchange of News Corp.’s DirecTV stake for Liberty’s roughly $10 billion voting and nonvoting stake in News Corp. is under consideration,” Faber told viewers.
Although Murdoch has long sought to control the top direct-broadcast satellite platform on every continent -- News Corp. owns British Sky Broadcasting Group in the United Kingdom, Foxtel in Australia and Star TV in Asia -- Faber said the media mogul is frustrated at DirecTV’s lack of a high-speed-Internet product to compete against rivals such as Comcast and Verizon Communications.
“Murdoch pursued DirecTV for years but has lately soured somewhat on the asset, calling it a ‘turd bird,’” Faber said.
Liberty declined to comment, while News Corp. representatives couldn’t be reached by deadline.