It looks like Rupert Murdoch may be wanting to sell his 38 percent controlling interest in the DirecTV satellite service. According to one media outlet, Murdoch labeled DirecTV a "turd bird" and may sell to Liberty Media, which is buying larger and larger shares of his News Corp.
Murdoch wants to buy back his News Corp stocks and wants apparently to divest of satellite TV, which he views as having a poor future going against cablecos who are offering the triple play of phone/cable/high speed internet services.
I think satellite can prosper but it's going to have to focus on what it can do: deliver all digital signals at affordable prices. I'm not sure satellite is going to be able to compete any other way.
If I were Time Warner cable, I'd be signing a deal with TiVo like Comcast has done. That would lure thousands of local DirecTV customers frustrated by flagging customer services, poor DVR units and lack of HD channels. One reason many DirecTV customers are loathe to switch, however, is because of cable's rising costs and poor receiving equipment.
As for DirecTV, it's hurt itself in the marketplace by being slow to implement HD channels, though it promises to have the largest HD capacity next year. DirecTV has also gotten away from one of its biggest draws -- and biggest advantages over cable -- its TiVo-based receiver.
DirecTV is now offering an receiver based on News Corp technology that reportedly is not working nearly as well as advertised. A new HD model was recently released. But if NewsCorp sells, DirecTV would be smart to go back to TiVo, which had helped the satcaster scores literally millions of of loyal custumers.
There's been a lot of speculation already that DirecTV may again try to merge with DISH network, but FCC cthhairman Kevin Martin said regulators still would be reluctant to greenlight a mergee sat providers, who tried a similar merger in 2002.
-- Want to catch an early glimpse of Nintendo's new Wii console? The company is launching a 35-city tour starting Sept. 27. At each tour stop, more than 35 Wii units will be hooked up for play.
The tour stops in Winston-Salem Oct. 10 and Myrtle Beach Oct. 11. No Charlotte stop is scheduled.
Gamers can pick up the unique Wii Remote controller and start playing, regardless of their video game experience. Some of the Wii titles scheduled to make the rounds on the tour include Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Wii Sports and WarioWare
-- NAMCO BANDAI Games America announced today that The Fast & The Furious has gone gold for the PS2. Inspired by the film from Universal Pictures, The Fast & The Furious allows fans to race in their own highly customizable cars. Players will have more than 100 cars with over 300 body kits to choose from. The Fast & The Furious will be released Sept 26
-- SEGA of America, SEGA Europe and Deep Fried Entertainment have partnered to create game content for the PSP. Based in Vancouver, Canada, Deep Fried Entertainment is an independent development studio launched in June 2005 by five industry veterans who have been key team members on such titles as Need for Speed: Underground 1 & 2, NFL Gameday, and Baldur's Gate.
"SEGA understands the handheld market like few other publishers," said Deep Fried Entertainment Chief Operating Officer Brenda Bailey. "This understanding of the market, coupled with SEGA's deep respect for creativity and innovation, makes the company an ideal partner for our team."
-- Norcent's LT -2090WPL and LT-2090WBK LCD TVs are aimed at college students with dorm rooms wired for Internet and cable access. To take advantage of the easy accessibility and to conserve space, the LT-2090 can be used as a television or computer monitor. The SRS audio enhancement can be used to clearly play back lectures, MP3 files and more.
Available in black or pearl white, the LT-2090 has a bright, high definition panel that will display crisp clear HD content with the addition of an HDTV tuner. The panel resolution is 1366 X 768 with a 16:9 aspect ratio, built-in NTSC tuner; high contrast ratio of 1000:1; and a brightness level of at least 500 Cd/m. Composite, Component, S-video, and PC inputs add to its versatility and multi-media functionality.
Other features include wall mounting capability (wall mount not included); V-Chip technology; parental control; sleep timer; and three on-screen menu languages. The estimated street price is $469.99.