The Holidays Are Coming!!
Malone Backs DIRECTV On Sports Fees
Washington, D.C. (November 20, 2012) --
John Malone, the former chairman of DIRECTV who still owns a
three percent stake in the satellite TV service, agrees with his
old company that the rising cost of acquiring sports
programming is out of control.
got runaway sports rights, runaway sports salaries and what is
essentially a high tax on a lot of households that don’t have a
lot of interest in sports," Malone said in an interview with The
Los Angeles Times. "The consumer is really getting squeezed, as
is the (TV provider)."
Malone was referring to companies such as Disney, which owns
ESPN, and News Corp. and Comcast, both of which have regional
sports channels. These companies recently have paid more for the
rights to sports channels and thus are demanding more money from
TV providers, such as DIRECTV, to carry them.
DIRECTV, Malone's former company, has been vocal in pushing for
government intervention in fee fights between TV providers and
sports programmers and other programmers. Malone, now the
chairman of Liberty Media, came to his old company's aid by
agreeing that the government may need to get involved to reduce
costs for both the TV provider and consumers.
"The only way it is going to change in the short run is for
government to intervene," Malone told the newspaper.
Malone's Liberty Media owns the premium channels Starz and
Encore, which sometimes gets involved in fee disputes with TV
providers over carriage fees. However, Malone did not say if he
supported government intervention in those fee fights.