At an e-commerce conference currently under way in New York, Liberty Media Capital (NASDAQ:LCAPA) CEO Greg Maffei said his company might exchange its $11 billion holdings in Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. (NYSE:NWS) for that company's controlling share in satellite TV provider DirecTV Group (NYSE:DTV).

Such a deal would give Liberty Media a delivery platform for its content portfolio, including stations like Starz, QVC, and the Game Show Network, which in turn gives the company some extra leverage when negotiating contracts with cable networks. On the flipside, these comments are widely seen as a sign that Murdoch is done with satellite TV and ready to focus his efforts -- and capital -- on Internet properties.

News Corp.'s acquisition of social-networking portal MySpace last year is starting to look like a bargain at $650 million, compared with Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) weighing a possible $1 billion price for Facebook and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) paying up $1.65 billion for video site YouTube earlier this week. You can only stretch cable and satellite TV advertising so far, and the growth in that industry appears to be winding down as online marketing continues to accelerate. Moreover, satellite networks can't do that nifty triple-play thing that cable networks and telcos like Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ) are getting into, with voice, video, and data running over the same network. Satellite broadcasting is a decidedly one-way street.

On that level, Liberty could be looking for a nice return on its DirecTV investment by turning it around to a phone operator in a year or two for a lot more money. That way, the chosen telco could provide high-definition TV programming anywhere without rolling out expensive fiber optics and reserve the bandwidth on its old-school copper lines for less intensive Internet and voice traffic.

We'll have to wait and see whether the suggested swap comes to fruition, but regardless, it's clear that the media landscape is changing rapidly these days. Buyouts and mergers usually come with generous premiums over current prices to garner shareholder approval, and you might want to take a position in one of the smaller players in this market to ride the consolidation wave. Just remember to do your due diligence before buying anything -- throwing darts at a stock listing isn't good enough, but The Motley Fool's new CAPS community might have a few ideas for you to start from.

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Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. He believes in coyotes and time as an abstract. You can check out Anders' holdings if you like, and Foolish disclosure will reach you anywhere, anytime.