Reports: DirecTV in talks with Sirius XM

A deal between the satellite radio giant and the satellite-TV provider could help Sirius XM fend off bankruptcy and an unsolicited takeover attempt by EchoStar.

Michelle Meyers
Michelle Meyers wrote and edited CNET News stories from 2005 to 2020 and is now a contributor to CNET.
Michelle Meyers

satellite TV

It appears Sirius XM Radio is seeking some sort of an investment from Liberty Media, which controls DirecTV, according to several media reports quoting anonymous sources close to the matter.

A deal between the satellite radio giant and the largest U.S. satellite-TV provider could help for Sirius fend off bankruptcy and an unsolicited takeover attempt from satellite company EchoStar, which has bought up Sirius' debt.

The Wall Street Journal, citing a person familiar with the matter, wrote that "though the talks between Sirius and Liberty are advanced, a deal remains far from certain. It wasn't clear how much Liberty would be willing to invest in Sirius and whether it would end up with control." Liberty Media Chief Executive John Malone is "known as a careful negotiator and is unlikely to cut a deal in haste," the Journal added.

Time is of the essence, however, for Sirius: $175 million in debt payments come due February 17. "The company is unlikely to be able to meet those obligations," The New York Times wrote.

Bloomberg cited an analyst at Stanford Group who said both EchoStar and DirecTV could use Sirius' satellite capacity to integrate radio and television services.

And PaidContent.org noted that "DirecTV already has a relationship with the satellite radio company, offering XM channels in its own packages." It added that Liberty is "in the midst of its own reorganization to gain value for assets that include DirecTV, Starz Entertainment, and Liberty Sports Holdings."