Liberty Media reports strong Q1 results

But QVC revenues down 10% amid global recession

NEW YORK -- John Malone's Liberty Media on Friday reported strong first-quarter results for its Liberty Entertainment business led by the Starz Entertainment networks, but Liberty Interactive's financials were weaker on continued challenges at the QVC home shopping channel amid the global recession.

The Liberty Entertainment group’s adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization jumped 63% to $132 million, and revenue rose 19% to $369 million. The results were in part boosted by the acquisition of Liberty Sports Group in March 2008. At Starz Entertainment, OIBDA jumped 46% as revenue rose 8%. The company cited rate increases and a gain in the average number of subscription units.

Meanwhile, Liberty Interactive adjusted OIBDA dropped 15% to $341 million on a 6% revenue decline to $1.8 billion. QVC's revenue was down 10%.

Liberty CEO Greg Maffei told The Associated Press on Friday that it could make strategic reasons for phone giants to buy TV operator DirecTV, which Liberty currently controls, after it merges with Liberty Entertainment. Telecom companies could benefit from offering video services along with Internet and phone services to better compete with cable TV operators, he said.