News Corp says Liberty share swap 'advancing'

Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation says talks with Liberty Media over a possible share swap in News Corp-controlled US satellite broadcaster DirecTV for Liberty's 19% voting stake in News Corp have advanced.

But News Corp president and chief operating officer Peter Chernin said though a deal was possible before the end of the year there was no time pressure to complete. Last month News Corp extended 'poison pill' provisions which prevent Liberty Media's John Malone from increasing his stake in News Corp, which Murdoch controls with 30% of the voting shares.

Chernin was speaking as DirecTV, the leading US satellite TV provider, reported a tripling in third-quarter profits to $370.2m on revenues up 13% to $3.67bn.

DirecTV's smaller rival, EchoStar, said its third-quarter profits fell to $140m from $209m a year ago, on revenues of $2.47bn, up from $2.13bn last time.

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