Rupert Murdoch owes Liberty Media boss John Malone a favour after he let Chase Carey, the former chief executive of satellite broadcaster DirecTV, leave for News Corp this year.
Malone told the Financial Times, Murdoch needed help at the top of the company following the departure of his right-hand man Peter Chernin earlier this year.
Malone said: “Because he was overextended personally, Rupert needed Chase. Once Peter Chernin left, there was a burden on Rupert.
“I don’t think Rupert even realised how big his company had become and how tough it was to have 20 people reporting to you personally.”
Asked what he got in return for letting Carey become chief operating officer of News Corp, Malone said: “My conversation with Rupert was: ‘Rupert, I know you need him and you owe us one.’ And that was it . . . If Rupert owes you one, you can bank on it you’ll collect it somewhere in the future, in some way, undefined.”