John Malone gets it: DirecTV merges with Liberty Media

American television programming is controlled by approximately ten major companies (give or take a few depending on the interpretation of "major") which include: Time Warner, News Corp., GE, CBS, Viacom, The Walt Disney Company, Hearst, NBC Universal, Scripps, and Liberty Media. These companies are as deeply intertwined as their histories are long.

John Malone's Liberty Media is responsible for the networks under the Starz Entertainment and QVC brands, and has a controlling stake in the United States' largest satellite television provider DirecTV. Liberty Media holds a 48% stake in the US' largest satellite television provider, which it obtained through a stock swap with News Corp, in which Liberty sold back its shares of News Corp. in exchange for News Corp.'s shares of The DirecTV Group.

Over the weekend, Liberty Media and DirecTV announced they would be forming a new spinoff company built from part of the entertainment division of Liberty and DirecTV. The new unit will be called (what else?) DirecTV, and will fold in Liberty Sports Holdings, local sports channels for Denver, Pittsburgh, and Seattle, a 65% ownership of the Game Show Network and Fun Technologies.

The remainder of Liberty Entertainment's properties will be renamed "Liberty Starz" and will include satellite internet provider WildBlue Communications. PicksPal Inc, a casual gaming and online entertainment service, and Starz Entertainment, which includes Encore, Starz!, and Movieplex-branded channels.

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