Murdoch's `Cosmic Armada': Pie In The Sky?

Rupert Murdoch's botched deal with EchoStar suddenly throws his global strategy into question

Call him the mogul who fell to earth. Just weeks ago, News Corp. executives were calling Chairman Rupert Murdoch's fleet of satellites a "cosmic armada." The military allusion declared Murdoch's intent: This was a campaign to control television across four continents. When Murdoch kick-started his invasion of the U.S. direct-broadcast satellite (DBS) market in late February with an announced $1 billion acquisition of 49% of EchoStar Communications Corp., he adopted the stance of an invincible conqueror surveying a new colony. Murdoch's top satellite executive, Preston Padden, joked that Sky, their DBS service, would leave U.S. cable companies suicidal and "calling for Dr. Kevorkian."

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.