FCC to OK DirecTV sale to News Corp.

December 8, 2003

The FCC’s Media Bureau is recommending that the full five-member commission approve News Corp.’s proposal to assume control of the nation’s largest satellite TV company as long as certain conditions are met, the Hollywood Reporter said.

The entertainment industry trade publication cited unnamed sources that said the Media Bureau is recommending that the $6.6 billion deal will win approval if DirecTV sets a date for transmission of all local TV channels, and a mechanism is adopted to handle disputes between the FOX television network and cable companies.

FCC chairman Michael Powell has said he wants to finish up the commission’s review of the deal by the end of the month. While it is likely that Powell can muster the votes of the three Republican commissioners, winning over the two Democrats could be more difficult. They have raised questions about the ability of the company to drive up prices for all subscription TV programming, the Reporter said.

For more information visit www.fcc.gov.

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