Merger magic in cyberspace and gridiron collisions were fit to be featured this past week. Let's take a closer look.

So much for early retirement
The names Barry Diller and Rupert Murdoch tend to conjure images of old-school media moguls who make content happen the old-fashioned way. However, these days, it seems as though you can't get any more hip and happening than these two chaps.

Fellow Fool Dave Meier brought this fact to my attention after I had written about Murdoch's company, News Corp. (NYSE:NWS), announcing a $650 million buyout of popular online gaming site IGN on Thursday. That move followed Diller's InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ:IACI) push toward reaching a younger, online audience through its acquisition of Ticketmaster and sites like CitySearch.com.

Maybe it's just the "Corp" at the end of each company's moniker that makes them feel so stodgy, and, well, corporate. In reality, these two guys just flat-out get it. Murdoch is pairing IGN with his recent MySpace.com purchase to reach out to the Web-enabled audience that advertisers crave. Meanwhile, Diller is busy giving young adults free online destination guides and selling them concert tickets.

So let the world think that these media legends are as stuffy as the corporate names on their stationery letterheads. Investors know better. There is something pretty special happening at both of those companies, and it may only be a matter of time before the rest of the market figures it out.

Oh, no, not another hike
With interest rates and gasoline price on the rise, it's about time for a more welcome kind of hike -- the kind that signals the start of the NFL season. Pro football got under way on Thursday night, when the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots beat the Oakland Raiders. Most of the rest of the league kicks off Sunday, while Philadelphia and Atlanta square off Monday night. Beyond the betting pools and fantasy football leagues, there is certainly money to be made in football. You can bet that more than a few public companies welcome the new season with open arms -- and open pocketbooks.

Consider DirecTV (NYSE:DTV). Can you imagine the satellite dish giant marketing its programming service to gridiron enthusiast subscribers without its NFL Sunday Ticket package? How about Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS)? The Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick has been thriving for years on its Madden football video game franchise.

You can also include Sirius Satellite Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI) to the mix. This is the company's time to shine, given its exclusive satellite radio broadcasting contract with the NFL. It won't be enough to have the company overtake XM (NASDAQ:XMSR) in its subscriber count, but it would certainly help level the playing field.

So, yes, they're heaving the pigskin again on fields of green. And by green, of course, I'm talking about grass, artificial turf, and money.

The headlines behind this week's stories:

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz loves to take a look back, even though he realizes that an investor cannot live off the rearview mirror alone. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. The Foo l has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.