Levy Supportive Of Marv Albert NBA Decision DC United Bringing Back Play-By-Play Man "The Starters" Making Transition To NBA TV Nerdist Sees Expansion Into Sports As Natural Sager Adds More Work With Improved Health "Puppy Bowl" Audience Lower In '16 Media Notes Jeff Gordon Ready For Fox Duties Sounders Announce New TV, Radio Broadcasters The Vertical Differs From Other Branded Sites
MURDOCH, MCI ANNOUNCE $2B JOINT INTERACTIVE DEAL
Published May 11, 1995
"In what could be the most potent alliance yet between a telephone company and a media firm," MCI Communications announced Wednesday that it will invest up to $2B in Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. to form a joint venture to deliver electronic information services, according to Jube Shiver in this morning's L.A. TIMES. The deal calls for a 50-50 joint venture company that will distribute News Corp. TV shows, movies and published materials via MCI's network -- "though it was not at all clear exactly how this will work, since MCI's network does not extend all the way to individual households -- at least not yet" (L.A. TIMES, 5/11). The first venture between the two is likely to be an online service for business drawing on Murdoch's "international news gathering apparatus" (Schatz & Pessah, N.Y. NEWSDAY, 5/11). In addition, Delphi, News Corp.'s commercial online service, "is expected to be folded into MCI's information services business" (Steve Lohr, N.Y. TIMES, 5/11). FOOTBALL AS LEVERAGE: Both MCI Chair Bert Roberts and Murdoch said the alliance would provide the leverage necessary for transmission deals with cable companies or regional bells. Murdoch: "We have a lot of bargaining strength and we have a lot of money. ... (Bell Atlantic) is not going to be supplying (programs) to people in Washington without the Redskins games" (WASHINGTON POST, 5/11). REAX: MCI's cash infusion "enables Murdoch to resume the role of an aggressive buyer of media properties that he relinquished after the company's 1990 liquidity crisis" (DAILY VARIETY, 5/11). News Corp. "is positioning itself for the day when broadcasters can deliver digital television into people's homes" (Cassandra Burrell, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 5/11). MCI Exec VP Tim Price: "We just got a big-time content provider" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/11). Roberts: "Until now, no one has put together the right building blocks -- programming, network intelligence, distribution and merchandising -- to offer new media services on a global scale" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 5/11). The "potentially powerful alliance of content and distribution could well force other media and communication giants into similar deals, lest they be left behind in multimedia wars" (Keller & Landro, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/11). "The deal marks one of the most startling alliances yet in the communications industry" (Andrews & Fabrikant, N.Y. TIMES, 5/11).