Crikey! Murdoch admits possible error

Some of us always wondered why News Corp sold off its 41% stake in DirecTV. After all, if satellite DTH is a good business for News Corp in the UK, Italy, Germany, India, China and possibly Spain, then what’s wrong with the model in the USA? Rupert Murdoch now says he might have been wrong to sell the News Corp stake to arch-rival John Malone.

Speaking on September 17 at a Goldman Sachs conference in New York, Murdoch admitted: "I thought it was going to be more affected by the triple play and everything than it has been. So I might have been wrong. I don't think I'm wrong in the long term, but in the short term, I might have been wrong."

Other topics to come up during the conference included his comments about German pay-TV operator Premiere: “We thought it probably needed a new CEO,” he said, but added that the first step had come from Premiere’s chairman in a call to James Murdoch, who runs News Corp in Europe. Rupert Murdoch added that he would be “waiting and seeing” what happened over the next six months at Premiere. “We’re not doing anything while the economic future is murky,” added Murdoch.

On Fox Business Channel: “is on track to become profitable by 2010 or 2011”.

On the advertising downturn: “Our emphasis is going to be more and more away from any traditional type of old-media advertising toward [a] subscription model," he said.

On buying the New York Times: “Whoever wrote that crap, it's nonsense," he told the audience. "I'm not interested. We're not interested in buying any more newspapers. We're happy with what we have."

The “crap” about the NYT had appeared within the new (and authorised) Michael Wolff book, “The man who owns the news” (which amongst other pearls reveals that Rupert colours his own hair in the sink).