Liberty Interactive’s QVC is expanding into China. Outside the US, the video and e-commerce retailer already has international operations in the UK, Germany, Japan and Italy. Now, via a joint venture with China’s government-owned China National Radio, it will bring its beauty, fashion, jewelry and home products to a potential 35 million homes. The partners will together operate multimedia retail business CNR Home Shopping Co Ltd through the CNR Mall TV shopping channel and its e-commerce website. To be headquartered in Beijing, the joint venture is subject to regulatory approval. A full press release follows: READ MORE »
It’s “more likely than not” that new online video streaming providers such as Amazon will offer some programming on a premium tier — a contrast with Netflix’s single-price package – Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei said this morning at the Goldman Sachs Communicopia conference. He broadly hinted that his company’s desire to charge extra for Starz was a big reason why the premium channel recently ended negotiations to extend its carriage deal with Netflix. The current arrangement, he says, is “inconsistent” with the way consumers receive Starz on pay TV.
More broadly, Maffei says that Liberty is on track to split off its Liberty Capital and Liberty Starz tracking stocks by tomorrow now that it has beat back a court challenge by bondholders. The deal transfers some assets to the spun-off companies, violating some bond agreements. But the Delaware Supreme Court yesterday upheld a lower court decision that said the split-off is OK because it isn’t part of what it called an “overall scheme” to hurt bondholders. That likely won’t change the overall strategy for the company that’s controlled by the famously tax-averse former cable titan John Malone — and that some analysts say is little more than a portfolio of stock holdings. “Finding things to buy at attractive prices is the biggest chalenge we have today,” Maffei says.
In May, John Malone’s Liberty offered to buy all of Barnes & Noble for $1B. But the offer stalled and the book retailer said Thursday that the takeover talks had been ditched in light of the $204M investment agreement. …
I’ve just heard that CAA is signing QVC as a client. That’s after WME already signed HSN. So add home shopping to what already is the toy warfront when CAA signed Mattel. But after WME signed Hasbro.