News Corp. Pushes End to DIRECTV Conditions

This week, News Corp. re-ignited its push for an end to conditions placed on the media giant after its acquisition of a controlling stake in DIRECTV, asking the Federal Communications Commission to move on its petition pertaining to the matter.

News Corp. acquired the DIRECTV stake in 2003, but sold its ownership in the DBS platform to Liberty Media in February. When News Corp. acquired the DIRECTV interest, the FCC tied a number of conditions to the deal, such as allowing unaffiliated pay-TV companies access to News Corp.-controlled regional sports programming and local broadcast signals.

Now that News Corp. doesn't control a pay-TV platform, the company has asked the FCC to drop those conditions.

News Corp. representatives recently met with FCC officials about the request, according to a filing made at the commission. At the meetings, the company said its Fox broadcasting unit expects to engage in carriage negotiations with several large cable companies during the next 18 months, and that prompt approval of the petition is needed with those talks looming, the company said.