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Malone: Dish Should Merge With DIRECTV
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (July 11, 2013) - Liberty Media chairman John Malone is urging Dish chairman Charlie Ergen to merge his company with satellite rival DIRECTV, reports Bloomberg News.

"It would be good if DIRECTV could combine with...Dish...just because scale economics in the media business drives down costs and makes it possible for larger investment," Malone told Bloomberg at the Allen & Co. conference in Sun Valley. "You need larger -- I'm not saying monopoly players -- but you need larger players."

Ergen said repeatedly last year that he might be interested in merging with DIRECTV, an idea that was not rejected by DIRECTV CEO Mike White when asked about it by reporters. (White did say it might have some trouble getting approved by federal regulators.) But Dish this year has been involved in various takeover attempts in the wireless category, which has seemingly put any satellite merger talk on hold.

However, Dish's wireless initiatives have sputtered, which could re-open the door to a satellite merger. By floating the idea in public, Malone, a former chairman of DIRECTV who still owns five percent of the satcaster, could be attempting to kick start the discussion.

The merger would allow the companies to eliminate some redundancies in labor, production, infrastructure and satellite development. In time, this would likely enable the DIRECTV-Dish company to offer more services, such as more HD channels, more Internet services and more innovative technology such as Dish's Sling Media products and DIRECTV's Genie HD DVR.

Malone's comments are also interesting for two other reasons. His Liberty Media, which owns 27 percent of Charter Communications, is reportedly interested in a Time Warner Cable-Charter merger. Plus, Malone's company happens to be located across the street from Ergen's Dish headquarters, writes Bloomberg.

Small world, this TV business.

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Phillip Swann is president and publisher of He has been quoted in dozens of publications and broadcast outlets, including CNN, Fox News, Inside Edition, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Financial Times, The Associated Press and The Hollywood Reporter. He can be reached at or at 703-505-3064.

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