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September 20, 2006 at 11:07 AM

DirecTV reaffirms interest in WiMax

A DirecTV executive told a crowd of investors that his company was still interested in signing a Wi-Fi or WiMax deal that would allow the TV service to also provide broadband Internet access to customers.

The rumors had been out there for some time that DirecTV is willing to invest about $1 billion into a company that would allow it to more readily compete with cable operators.

But as recently as yesterday, a story in the Hollywood Reporter suggested that News Corp., DirecTV’s parent, may be interested in selling its interest in the satellite TV company rather than try to get into the broadband business. News Corp. would sell it to Liberty Media in exchange for Liberty Media’s holdings in News Corp.

But in a Wall Street Journal story today, Chase Carey, chief executive of DirecTV Group, said the company was reasonably close to signing a wireless broadband deal.

Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia investor conference, Carey was quoted as saying: “Just because we haven’t announced a deal in six months, doesn’t mean that [it] isn’t moving forward.”

He added: “From our perspective, we are really looking at broadband as being a business that we would invest in, but not be 100 percent owner of.”

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