There are more deals to be done in content, says John Malone

John Malone focused on content

Liberty Media Chairman John Malone may have just finished Charter's acquisition of Time Warner Cable, but he's far from done with doing deals.

In an interview at the Allen & Co. conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, he told CNBC that after so many mergers in the content distribution space, consolidation in the content space is inevitable.

"It's all about global scale. If you want to be a meaningful player in most of any of these media communication businesses, you have to think about it," Malone said. Because the stage is now global rather than just the U.S., he said the scale that a company must have to "meaningfully play" is that much bigger.

"I think that's just the way the world is. Big bubbles get bigger. Little bubbles disappear. It's physics. So I think that's really what we're seeing going on right now: The Internet and the digital world creating global standards. A guy like Evan [Spiegel] from Snapchat can go from nothing, an idea ... to global. These things are just blooming and blossoming like mad because of that scale that exists around the world. So it's just a very interesting time," he said.

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John Malone
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So are there media deals to be done with Malone's other assets? "Oh sure, there's always a deal to be done," Malone said. "Whether it makes sense or whether they want to do it? Who knows."

Malone said he's interested in learning about the business of content creation, which is why he invested in Lionsgate, taking a seat on its board. "I'm an engineer, what the hell do I know about content? Trying to understand where these ideas come from, how they get created and produced. The development of stories is really going to be important in this random-access world that Reed Hastings is driving us into."

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Malone praised Hastings' Netflix for changing the game, saying that Malone's companies "missed the boat a little bit" in offering "over the top" services. "Our distribution companies, they're increasingly getting into video on demand, which is effectively over the top random access. How you get to it, what kind of content it has on it. Those kinds of things are still evolving."

Does Malone see Netflix as a threat to the TV bundle his investments, such as Charter, sell?

"The fact that we have high-speed connection, having something like Netflix is good. From the video business point of view he's taken a share of viewership, and that might not be good."

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