Liberty Media Buys More Of Sirius, FCC Rejects Ownership Efforts
Liberty Media says it has more shares of Sirius XM -- but not control of the company or its operating licenses. As the company that helped out Sirius XM with a $530 million loan to avoid bankruptcy in 2009, Liberty Media's efforts to control the satellite broadcaster have been rejected by the Federal Communications Commission.
Liberty claims that because it controls of more than 40% of Sirius XM's stock and a bunch of board seats, it should have control over the company.
Separately, Liberty Media -- which houses the pay TV networks Starz and Encore -- witnessed a 55% decrease in revenue to $440 million in the first quarter as well as lower operating income, down 81% to $89 million. The company said this was the result of “deferred revenue and costs in the previous year at our subsidiary TruePosition.” TruePosition is a location technology company.
Separately, subscriptions at both Starz and Encore were higher in the first quarter -- 7% (now at 20.1 million) and 2% (now at 33.6 million), respectively.
The Liberty unit, Starz LLC, which is the home to the Starz and Encore networks, had 4% higher revenue to $405 million for the first quarter. But its operating income before depreciation and amortization was down 3% to $127 million due to lower revenues from its Starz Distribution business. This came from higher costs associated with films distributed for The Weinstein Company.
Liberty Media subsidiaries include Starz LLC, Atlanta National League Baseball Club, Inc., and TruePosition -- as well as big equity positions in SiriusXM and Live Nation and minority equity investments in Barnes & Noble, Time Warner Inc. and Viacom.
Related -- but separately -- public company Liberty Interactive Corp. grew revenues 7% to $2.3 billion in the first quarter, with operating income 21% higher to $258 million. This came from higher revenues at its home shopping TV channel QVC and the eCommerce companies.