by Karl Bode

Murdoch Lets His 'Turd Bird' Fly Away

from the fly-turd-bird-fly dept

A miserably kept rumor since September, it looks like Rupert Murdoch is going to be trading his 38% stake in DirecTV to Liberty Media for their 19% stake in News Corporation. Since last year, Murdoch has been dropping hints about a billion-dollar broadband play. The assumption was they'd use the DirecTV brand to create a nationwide WiMAX network, possibly after merging with Echostar. Obviously throwing up a WiMAX network isn't like pitching a tent, and Murdoch found plenty of obstacles in his quest to break into the coordinated duopoly that is the American broadband industry. FCC chief Kevin Martin hinted that he wouldn't approve a DirecTV-Echostar merger, despite the fact he's never met a massive telco merger he didn't like. Then DirecTV and Echostar were effectively bullied out of the recent FCC AWS (advanced wireless services) spectrum auction. Once it was clear Murdoch couldn't turn DirecTV into a broadband and content powerhouse, he threw up his hands, called the entire company a "turd bird" (really), then began speeding up the transfer to Liberty Media. Executives may just have to face the fact DirecTV isn't destined to break into the broadband business, especially if you consider they've failed at offering satellite via broadband, failed at offering DSL, and couldn't scrap together the spectrum necessary to launch a WiMAX network. Liberty execs say that once they control DirecTV they'll explore broadband possibilities via companies they own, such as WildBlue Communications. WildBlue is simply another high-latency satellite broadband provider however, so it's unclear what exactly Liberty plans to do differently.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2006 @ 2:33pm

    hmmm... DirecTV is still around?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Happy direct tv user, Dec 7th, 2006 @ 3:07pm

    direct tv is fine

    I'm happy with my direct tv service. Never had problem with service. I had a few bill problems, but I called and talked to some who spoke real English in 1 minute.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Mike, Dec 7th, 2006 @ 4:08pm

    When I moved to Los Angeles from Orange County, I was stuck with adelphia cable. The modem speeds were horrendous, the tv would go out every 4 or 5 days, and their lineup was pathetic. I switched over to DirecTV and I get almost twice as many channels for 70% of the cost i was paying. I also get NFL network which is non-existent on cable out here.

    I can't imagine going back to cable now. I guess that's the problem, cable wants to do so many things they forgot how to do the basic thing well. DTV may not have braodband service or voip or anything, but it does what I want it to.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Justin, Dec 7th, 2006 @ 4:27pm

    Loved DTV for 6 years now ...

    I had mediaone/comcast (or whoever it was in the past) previous to getting direct tv. I love my REAL Tivo dvr ... I've never had a moments problem with the service, or customer service. If I need to speak to someone I call and get right through in less than a minute.

    In that same span of time I've been through bell south, Comcast, and clear wire for broadband and I hate them all. If their service was half as good as DTV I would be happy.

    Just in the last month my parents signed up for Comcast digital service and they have called an average of 2 times a week for 4 weeks problems ... and that's not an exaggeration.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Cleverboy, Dec 7th, 2006 @ 5:49pm

    Spruce Goose

    Hm... Bird Turd... Spruce Goose... Direct TV. Hm. Kind of fitting really.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Mudgy, Dec 7th, 2006 @ 7:24pm


    ... was bought out by Time Warner in O.C. So far, it's much better.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    JC, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 4:55am

    We've had DTV for nearly ten years and we love it. I wish their broadband was a bit more affordable because we'd switch from RoadRunner to DTV in a heartbeat. In a small town there is often no real competition to RR broadband and the rates remain much higher than the rest of the country. It would be nice to introduce DTV as a reasonable alternative.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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