DirecTV, Liberty brass split on Latin unit

Sides don't agree about whether it should be spun off

NEW YORK -- DirecTV president and CEO Chase Casey and his chairman John Malone don't necessarily see eye to eye on the future structure of DirecTV Latin America.

Greg Maffei, CEO of Malone's Liberty Media, which has a controlling stake in the satellite giant, signaled Wednesday that DirecTV Latin America could be spun off once Liberty gets full control of DirecTV.

But Carey said Thursday that he doesn't believe a spinoff is absolutely necessary, even though it could have benefits that make it desirable.

"I'm not a fan of financial re-engineering," he told the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference, adding that spinoffs and similar engineering options haven't been particularly successful.

Discussing the sluggish U.S. economy, Carey said DirecTV hasn't really felt an impact. "TV is something (consumers) can hang on to in tough times," he said.

Asked about his future interest in NFL Sunday Ticket once DirecTV's exclusive contract with the NFL expires in 2011, Carey said he would like to keep it exclusively. However, he signaled cost considerations might lead to DirecTV looking for a partner.

Carey also said DirecTV and the NFL would in the future have to work more aggressively on developing mobile offerings.
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