The cable network is a robust two-way medium that allows users to send and receive data at high rates. That has helped cable gain considerable ground in the Net-access and -phone markets. Telecom companies like AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) are building fiber networks that will deliver even more bandwidth to the home. All this should make it even easier for cable and telecom outfits to put pressure on satellite.
Not if News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch can help it. He’s mulling a plan that would narrow the gap by pushing DirecTV into broadband. And executives have said he’s prepared to spend $1 billion to get the project off the ground. The service would let DirecTV sell high-speed Internet access and Web-based phone service alongside satellite TV, putting DirecTV on equal footing with rivals. News Corp. owns 34% of the pay TV service.