Time Warner is being "extremely disciplined and price sensitive" in bidding for the Weather Channel, CFO John Martin said Thursday. He added that the Weather Channel would make an "interesting cross-platform play with CNN." Landmark Communications is selling the Weather Channel to the highest bidder, and insiders said the two most aggressive potential buyers are Time Warner and NBC Universal, each of which could pay around $3 billion-$4 billion for the asset.
Goldman Sachs downgraded shares of DirecTV from "buy" to "neutral" on Thursday based on valuation following a 19% run-up in the stock since mid-March. Analyst Ingrid Chung said that positive operational and strategic catalysts already are priced into the stock and she predicted difficulty in gaining market share.
The European Commission on Thursday extended until June 25 its review of News Corp.'s bid to acquire control of German pay TV broadcaster Premiere. The previous deadline was June 11. News Corp. already has 22.7% of Premiere, which said in April it wanted to double the size of its supervisory board to make room for two executives from Rupert Murdoch's media empire and one other member.
PROSIEBEN PAYS FOR KEEPS
ProSiebenSat.1 said Thursday that it plans to keep its dividend policy despite its debt of €3.5 billion ($5.4 billion) as it strives to cut costs and meet its full-year targets. "We have the means to make investments and pay out a high dividend," ProSieben chairman Goetz Maeuser said.