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DIRECTV: A Possible Suitor For Netflix?
Washington, D.C. (October
23, 2012) --
Could DIRECTV be interested in buying Netflix?
The idea of a Netflix/DIRECTV partnership has been floated
before. In fact, the
of this article has predicted the satcaster will eventually use
Netflix as a VOD service. But the most recent hint the two
companies may join together comes from a source who knows
DIRECTV better than almost anyone: John Malone.
Malone, who once served as DIRECTV's boss when his Liberty Media
company owned the satellite service a few years ago, was being
interviewed by Multichannel News this week on a range of topics
when the subject of Netflix came up.
The industry veteran was asked if Netflix could compete directly
with cable operators. Malone noted that the studios and
programmers are reluctant to offer Netflix more content and he
added that Netflix's business model may not 'really work.'
But Malone then dropped a bombshell of an idea, which if it came
from anyone but him might be dismissed as mere speculation.
"If DIRECTV was to acquire Netflix, it would give them entree
really to all the footprint that they don't have, plus their
combined programming budget would be a monster," Malone told
Multichannel News' editor in chief Mark Robichaux. "And they
could also drive Netflix in Latin America. That would be a
combination that to me makes a certain amount of financial
Robichaux did not follow up on the comment, but he could have
noted that Malone still holds a three percent voting interest in
DIRECTV. When he talks about DIRECTV, he presumably does so with
an insider's perspective.
DIRECTV CEO Mike White recently has speculated about a possible
merger with satellite rival Dish. Perhaps he also has eyes for
the world's largest online video service.
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