America's number one satellite-TV operator Hughes Electronics has changed its name following the group's takeover by News Corporation.

As of Tuesday, the company took the name The DirecTV Group, adopting the title of its market-leading US satellite-TV platform.

The change is the first of many expected under the group's new owners. NewsCorp last year purchased a controlling 34% stake in the business from General Motors [WAMN: 03-Dec-03].

"The future of this company is centered on DirecTV and DirecTV will drive both our strategy and shareholder value going forward," remarked Chase Carey, president/ceo of the renamed group and onetime chief operating officer of NewsCorp.

Aside from the US pay-TV business, which has 12.2 million subscribers, DirecTV is a major equipment supplier, owns 81% of satellite giant PanAmSat and has television interests in Latin America.

Data sourced from: The Washington Post Online; additional content by WARC staff