Murdoch move ups ante in share battle

Linnett, Richard
April 2003
Advertising Age;4/14/2003, Vol. 74 Issue 15, p3
Trade Publication
This article reports on issues surrounding News Corporation's agreement to acquire DirecTV as of April 2003. The acquisition ushers in Rupert Murdoch, chairman-CEO of News Corp., as a major U.S. satellite operator reaching 11 million subscribers and the expectation is that he will put significant resources behind an already aggressive marketing push for satellite services over cable. According to Harold Vogel, president-CEO of Vogel Capital Management, DirecTV was in a latent phase or dormant phase during the uncertainty over its ownership. Vogel believed that Murdoch will step up the competition, not only against satellite television service Echostar, but also against the cable business in general. And should there be a technological advance enabling more Internet services from satellite and so on, Murdoch is expected to exploit it too. According to Taylor Nelson Sofres' competitive media reporting, cable and satellite companies spent a combined $660 million in measured media, with Comcast Corp. leading the charge, spending $158 million while DirecTV spent a close second at $137 million. Advertising for DirecTV is handled by Interpublic Group of Companies' Deutsch. A spokeswoman from Deutsch said that they could not predict if new ownership would affect spending.


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