News Corp, which only two weeks ago was reported to be close to a deal with General Motors to acquire Hughes Electronics, the operator of the DirecTV home satellite service, has acknowledged that the deal has suffered a setback as a result of a rival offer from EchoStar Communications. In an interview with Bloomberg News in Brisbane, Australia Friday, News Corp Deputy COO Lachlan Murdoch described the EchoStar bid as "fairly disappointing." He said that the negotiations with GM had been going "fairly well" until this week's $30-billion bid by EchoStar, which operates the DISH satellite service.
When News Corp Deputy COO Lachlan Murdoch learned that a championship rugby match being held in Brisbane, Australia on July 1 was not being televised in the United States -- after he had already invited friends to his New York apartment to see it -- he immediately pulled strings to get it on the air. Melbourne's The Age newspaper reported Thursday that Murdoch phoned the National Rugby League in Australia, in which News Corp owns a 50-percent stake, and quickly secured rights to the game, then called News Corp's Fox Sports Channel in Los Angeles and asked programmers there to fit it into the schedule, enabling Murdoch and his friends to watch the game.