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DVB-S2 Intellectual Property Rights Holders Announce Favorable Licensing Terms Under Joint Licensing Program

The DIRECTV Group, the European Space Agency (ESA) and RAI (Radiotelevisione Italiana) Cooperate to Provide Not-to-Exceed Pricing as Cornerstone of Comprehensive Patent License Offering

EL SEGUNDO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 15, 2006--The DIRECTV Group, RAI and ESA, the holders of key DVB (Digital Video Broadcasting)-S2 intellectual property rights, announced today the fundamental terms of a comprehensive licensing offering under their combined patent rights for DVB-S2 standardized technology.

The offering will set limits on cumulative royalties paid for the licensing of intellectual property rights in order to speed adoption of the DVB-S2 standard. DVB-S2 is the second generation DVB system for broadband satellite communications, covering digital TV and HDTV broadcasting, interactive services, and professional links by satellite.

The three rights holders will jointly offer a license under their combined portfolios of intellectual property rights necessary for the implementation of DVB-S2. For consumer applications, such as satellite television set-top box receivers, a license under the combined portfolios will not exceed $0.50 per product in quantities exceeding 500,000 over the term of the license and not to exceed $1.00 per product in lower quantities. Licenses for consumer applications will be granted for five-year terms. Renewals will be granted on fair and reasonable terms based on then-current market conditions.

Free-to-air and pay-TV broadcasters will not be required to pay a separate service license fee to broadcast to licensed receivers. The per product royalties and the arrangements for broadcasters are geared to help launch DVB-S2 technology and follow the commitment of the rights holders to offer licenses on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.

"We feel that it is important to confirm to the marketplace that the cumulative royalties for the licensing of known essential IPRs will indeed be fair and reasonable," said Dr. Alberto Morello, Director of the RAI Research Centre.

"DIRECTV developed essential DVB-S2 coding technology to significantly expand the capacity of its direct-to-home broadcast business. By confirming that a license under the DIRECTV, RAI and ESA patents will not exceed $0.50 per consumer product -- with no additional service royalties or other service fees owed by free-to-air and pay-TV broadcasters -- manufacturers and service providers will now be able to set their business models to take advantage of this important technology," added Romulo Pontual, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of DIRECTV.

"We expect that these conditions will foster a rapid adoption of this innovative standard by the global satellite broadcast and telecommunication industry," concluded Giuseppe Viriglio, ESA Director of Telecommunication and Navigation.

The licensing model under the combined portfolio for interactive and professional applications such as pay-TV, data broadcasting/internet access and satellite news gathering will be announced shortly. DIRECTV, RAI and ESA, however, confirmed that the cumulative royalties for the related equipment (e.g., modulators, demodulators, etc.) are not expected to exceed 1-2% of the equipment cost.

For broadcast applications (using QPSK and 8PSK modulations only) the licensing program will be administered by DIRECTV (contact John T. Whelan, john@baysidelaw.com). For the other cases, including, for example, professional/interactive applications and advanced broadcasting using 16APSK and 32APSK, the program will be administered by each entity (contacts: DIRECTV: John T. Whelan, john@baysidelaw.com; RAI: Alberto Morello, a.morello@rai.it; ESA: Luz Becker, luz.becker@esa.int). The rights holders are nearing completion of work on a form of license agreement. Entities which believe they hold patents essential to the DVB-S2 technology are encouraged to contact Mr. Whelan at john@baysidelaw.com.

About The DIRECTV Group, Inc.

DIRECTV Group (NYSE:DTV) is a world-leading provider of digital television entertainment services. DIRECTV Group is approximately 39 percent owned by News Corporation. DIRECTV and the Cyclone Design logo are registered trademarks of DIRECTV, Inc., which is a wholly owned subsidiary of DIRECTV Group and the nation's leading digital television service provider, with more than 15.6 million customers.

About RAI

RAI (Radiotelevisione Italiana) is the Italian public broadcaster for radio and television over the air, via satellite and cable, or any other means. It provides program production and network operation for three national analog television channels broadcast in VHF/UHF bands. These programs are re-broadcast in digital format by satellite and in two terrestrial bouquets, including a growing number of thematic channels in clear. It provides also production and network operation for three radio channels, broadcast in MW and FM, and international radio programs in SW.

About ESA

The European Space Agency (ESA) is an international organization, with 17 member states, set up to provide for and to promote, for exclusively peaceful purposes, cooperation among European states in space research and technology and their space applications. ESA draws up a European space plan and has the task of carrying it out. Its activities span the fields of space science, Earth observation, telecommunications, satellite navigation, human spaceflight, microgravity research, exploration and space transportation systems. ESA has its headquarters in Paris, France, with establishments in The Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Spain; a launch base in Kourou, French Guiana; and offices in Washington, Moscow and Brussels.

CONTACT: The DIRECTV Group, Inc.
Robert Mercer, 310-726-4683
rgmercer@directv.com

SOURCE: The DIRECTV Group, Inc.

"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding DIRECTV's business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report or Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year.