Cable legend John Malone, just days after converting his super-voting shares in Discovery Inc. to common stock for no premium to help facilitate its merger with WarnerMedia, has agreed to sell his Class B shares on TV and online retailer Qurate Retail Group to long-time lieutenant Greg Maffei, for about $400 million in cash or stock.
“They’re only going to get more serious over time,” Greg Maffei told an investors conference about the e-commerce giant eyeing live sports agreements, including with the NFL in the U.S. market.
Qurate Retail Group will comprise eight retail brands — QVC, HSN, Zulily, Ballard Designs, Frontgate, Garnet Hill, Grandin Road and Improvements. QVC’s Mike George will be president and CEO, Liberty’s Greg Maffei will be chairman.
In The Wall Street Journal, Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei talks about his company’s need to change its growth strategy, Charter’s battle with Time Warner Cable, and relations with Liberty’s controlling shareholder, chairman John Malone. WSJ subscribers can read the story here.
Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei sees upside in the cable MSO business if the heavyweights in the marketplace work together to develop new products and enhanced services.
Liberty Media boss John Malone and sidekick Greg Maffei have grand plans to consolidate the cable business via a 27% stake in Charter Communications. Fed up with the balkanized cable industry’s lack of coordination and ineffective efforts to battle the likes of Netflix, Malone and Maffei plan to pitch cable bigs on a get-together plan.
Such sharply rising costs — including in a recent deal already agreed between the National Football League and ESPN — are producing a vocal backlash from some media companies, which are afraid customers will drop services as prices escalate.