Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway shuffles pay TV support, buys into Charter, cuts back on DirecTV

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has taken a stake in Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR) and cut its holdings in DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV).

According to filings with the SEC, Berkshire held about 2.3 million shares of Charter, worth around $361 million as of June 30. At the same time it cut back its stake in DirecTV to 23.5 million shares worth about $2 billion.

DirecTV got a boost in May when AT&T (NYSE: T) announced it planned to acquire the satellite provider for more than $48 billion. At the time, Buffett deputies Todd Combs and Ted Weschler released a statement supporting the deal. A Bloomberg story said Buffett didn't return a message asking whether Berkshire cut its stake before or after that deal was announced.

The media reshuffling drew the approval of Jeff Matthews, an author who's written about Buffett.

"They did a great job with DirecTV," Matthews told Bloomberg. "They made a ton of dough."

In addition to Charter and DirecTV, Berskshire said it increased its investment in Verizon (NYSE: VZ) to 15 million shares worth about $735 million and sold its entire interest in pay TV channel Starz.

Overall, Berkshire's media plays paint "telecom and cable as mature industries," Jackdaw Research analyst Jan Dawson told Bloomberg, calling Verizon and Charter "blue chip companies, probably more stable with relatively less risk."

Charter, in particular, has been getting a lot of financial investment with Liberty Media leader John Malone continuing to build his position as the company's largest shareholder.

For more:
- Bloomberg has this story
- MarketWatch has this story

Related articles:
Lightower Fiber Networks and Sidera to merge in $2 billion deal
Liberty Media's Maffei: Small cable operators need a 'big brother'
Charter Q2: Video subscriber losses slow to 29K

Suggested Articles

Blockgraph has partnered with TVSquared to provide omni-channel TV measurement and audience activation.

The CEOs of AT&T, Charter and Comcast this week presented varying visions for the future of pay TV at their respective companies.

Charter doesn’t think it needs its own video streaming box and believes its video app strategy and third-party agreements are enough.