Date: 27th October 2000

Diller Bearish About TV Biz

USA Networks chief Barry Diller Thursday disagreed with analysts who remain bullish on media sales prospects in the coming year. Speaking on a conference call, Diller said that those who deny an ad slowdown do so "for manipulative purposes." He added: "You talk to anyone who owns TV stations, anyone who owns cable service, and find someone who says it's vibrant -- it ain't. Do I think it's a disaster? I don't. But it can't maintain the pace."

As to whether Vivendi, the French company that through its acquisition of Seagram will become the largest shareholder of USA Networks, will help Diller in his quest for a major TV network, Diller commented that Vivendi has told him that it will help him "grow distribution." However, he quickly added, "Having said that, I wouldn't exactly think you should hold your breath for some big transaction. You may be holding it for a while."

Source: Studio Briefing