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DirecTV Will Launch Broadband at Year-End

Multichannel News reports that DirecTV Group is feverishly working on a broadband product to complement its direct-broadcast satellite video offerings, but it won�t likely launch until the end of the year, a company executive told analysts and investors.

Executive vice president and chief financial officer Mike Palkovic, speaking at the Banc of America Securities Media, Telecommunications and Entertainment conference, said the DBS giant is working hard on a high-speed-Internet solution and it should decide on a transmission technology by midyear.

That seemed to contradict News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch�s promise in late December at an investor conference in Phoenix that details of DirecTV�s broadband plans would be known to the public �within probably two months.�

News Corp. owns a controlling interest in DirecTV. Murdoch, who is also chairman of the DBS giant, has said that DirecTV would invest as much as $1 billion in a broadband initiative, and that it was investigating several different ways to offer a product -- through partnerships, on its own, or reselling another service.

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