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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Moderators Note: I have merged all DirecTV/News Corp topics into this one, for ease of following the discussion.




G.M. Set to Sell Hughes Unit to News Corp.
By ANDREW ROSS SORKIN
New York Times, April 9, 2003


The board of General Motors is planning to meet today to approve a deal worth about $7 billion that would give control of its Hughes Electronics unit and the DirecTV satellite operation to the News Corporation, executives close to the negotiations said yesterday.


The executives said the deal, if approved, could be announced as early as today.


The deal would end a three-year effort by Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of the News Corporation, to take over DirecTV and its 11 million subscribers and add a United States outlet to his global satellite empire.


In 2001, he lost a bidding war for control of Hughes to EchoStar Communications, the largest satellite television company, which struck a deal with G.M. However, antitrust regulators in Washington rejected that transaction last year after Mr. Murdoch waged a behind-the-scenes campaign to block the agreement, giving him a second chance.


News Corporation's offer for Hughes is significantly lower than the amount he was willing to pay in the 2001 bidding war. According to the executives, News Corporation is planning to make a complex offer that includes paying cash for G.M.'s 20 percent stake in Hughes, which trades as a G.M. tracking stock, and then making a tender offer for up to 15 percent of the publicly traded shares. G.M. is planning to use the cash to reduce its debt and strengthen its balance sheet.


News Corporation has offered a premium of about 21 percent for the shares, planning to pay just more than $13.90 each, the executives said. Shares of Hughes fell 10 cents yesterday, to $11.50.


News Corporation would end up controlling 35 percent of Hughes, while the General Motors Pension Trust, which is separate from G.M., would continue to own 20 percent and the public would own the remaining 45 percent, the executives said.


G.M. had tried to set up another bidding war to help push the price for Hughes higher, but SBC Communications, which was the most serious contender besides News Corporation, abandoned its bid last week after investors questioned the wisdom of such a move.


A spokeswoman for G.M. and a spokesman for News Corporation declined to comment.
 

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Get ready for 200 channels of fox programming.... if this goes thu today I will cancel my sub for D* ASAP.


Moving to E*
 

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This will likely be "officially" announced today. I've had DirecTV since October, 1994. I will have it removed by the end of the month.
 

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I think protest cancellations should wait until HD channels are removed from the D* lineup or until something new in HD pops up on E*. Example: If E* gets ESPNHD up and running, and D* doesn't: then dump it. It will have more weight to say, "I'm leaving you for your competitors service," than to say, "I heard the new owners might not support HD as much as the other guys so I'm leaving now." -You will sound irrational.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by daperlman
Who says he is a non-HD supporter? As of now Fox Sports has more stuff in HD (shown on HD Net) than any network.
I thought That was Marks Equipment!
 

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Ultimately, my reasons for cancelling have little to do with HDTV. I find the history of this man's business ideology to be repugnant.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Chezbrgr2
I thought That was Marks Equipment!
I don't know whose equipment it is, but the point is he is not necessarily anti-HDTV. I imagine he like anyone else will weigh the costs vs the potential to profit from it.


For all the... I am moving to Dish people. I had Dish...


Have fun with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
TO: daperlman


Since when is HD Net owned or controlled by FOX? They are two completely separate and unassociated companies.


And while FOX may have widescreen, they have NO HDTV resolution at all.


Fred
 

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Wasn't there some information floating around months ago that said that Fox's 480p is only temporary - that they plan on offering "real" HD in the near future??
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Fred M
TO: daperlman


Since when is HD Net owned or controlled by FOX? They are two completely separate and unassociated companies.


And while FOX may have widescreen, they have NO HDTV resolution at all.


Fred
They are two companies that apparently have an agreement to share some broadcasts. That is their relation. Obviously Fox does not yet have the infrastructure to broadcast HDTV, perhaps they are working on it. Point is this does not mean that News Corp's controlling interest in D* will result in them backing out of, or not pursuing HD programming.
 

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"However, if Murdoch buys DirecTV, it's a fair question to ask if he will continue to push HDTV. On Fox in the United States and on Murdoch-owned stations worldwide, HDTV is clearly not a priority. Murdoch believes that the cost of deploying the technology is not equal to the return. He prefers interactive services, such as games and gambling, which generate immediate revenue and can be accessed monthly user fees. (News Corp. is a 43 percent owner of Gemstar's TVG Network, the horse racing wagering service.)"


http://www.tvweek.com/technology/022403rupert.html
 

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All we really know at this point is that Murdoch is opposed to free, OTA HDTV. He may be more receptive when he's able to profit from it.


I for one will wait until his ownership negatively effects me directly before summarily jumping ship. I don't necessarily need to like the man personally, and provided D* continues to serve me well I see no reason for panic. (at least not yet...)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by sweeney
This will likely be "officially" announced today. I've had DirecTV since October, 1994. I will have it removed by the end of the month.
Isn't that a bit of an over reaction? I not a fan or a hater of this guy. I don't know that much about him. But maybe he's just a shrewd businessman who can't justify the cost for Fox just yet as his research people tell him there just aren't enough HDTV homes yet overall. Looking at Fox programming, it looks to me that their sports programming is the only thing that will cater to an upscale demographic capable of purchasing a digital television. Isn't most of their programming geared to a younger audience? I could be dead wrong I don't know, but you don't purchase a satellite company that claims to be an HDTV leader and plan to break it down. It doesn't make sense. I would think that someone who has made it as far as he has in the business world is a little smarter than that. Doesn't he have his own satellite plans? Maybe the acquisition of D* coupled with that will provide valuable bandwidth. I'm relatively new to this forum, but it just seems that people over react to every piece of news with "I'm dropping this, or that". How many people have dropped D* already because E* is carrying ESPN-HD? Sometimes it's difficult because everyone here is so passionate about HDTV, but I think this is another case where we are going to have to see how this plays out and maybe we'll be pleasantly surprised. Just my thoughts, sorry if it's long winded or not accurate.
 

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Perhaps you should read about him before commenting about any "over reaction" I might have.
 

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I know this is a little old but heres a quote.


"Murdoch uses his diverse holdings, which include newspapers, magazines, sports teams, a movie studio, and a book publisher, to promote his own financial interests at the expense of real newsgathering, legal and regulatory rules, and journalistic ethics. He wields his media as instruments of influence......and savages his competitors in his news columns. If ever someone demonstrated the dangers of mass power being concentrated in few hands, it would be Murdoch".


The whole article can be read here.



http://www.cjr.org/year/98/3/murdoch.asp
 

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Doesn't this merger also have to be approved by the Justice Dept. and the FCC? Will it be?


- Tom
 

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I will wait to see what he does. There are many artists who's personal views and lifestyles I detest - but I still appreciate what they do. William Hurst was accused of the same tactics - even got us into a war with his newspapers.


I will walk if he does not match Dish or Cable (Comcast in Colorado) when it comes to HDTV. I have been a Directv subscriber since 96.


Reggie
 
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