DIRECTV is Murdoch-free!

It’s Friday afternoon before a long Christmas weekend and I’m certainly ready to go home…but there is enough time for me to report the latest and greatest DIRECTV news, courtesy of AP:

“Under a deal announced Friday, Malone’s Liberty Media Corp. will give its 16.3 percent stake in Murdoch’s company back to News Corp….In exchange, Liberty will get a controlling stake in DirecTV Group Inc….plus three regional sports networks and $550 million in cash.”

If you love TiVo (and if you don’t own any DIRECTV stock, which has done particularly well this year), then you may not be a big fan of Rupert Murdoch, the head honcho at News Corp who also happens to hold the reins at DIRECTV. Murdoch also has an interest in NDS, which is the company largely behind the DIRECTV R15 and DIRECTV HR20-700, the two DVRs that replaced the DIRECTV DVRs with TiVo.

Many people have questioned why DIRECTV migrated from the TiVo platform to the NDS DVR platform, given the relative stablity and success of the DIRECTV TiVo DVRs. One of the more plausible explanations is that Rupert wanted to funnel the DVR business to NDS.

Once the deal with Liberty Media is final and DIRECTV is free of the Murdoch/NDS influence, will DIRECTV stay with its home-grown R15 and HR20 DVR? Will TiVo have another shot? Certainly plausible. A quick look at TiVo’s website indicates that a division of Liberty media is already an equity investor in TiVo.

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