In its own way, watching corporate superstars like News Corp.'s (NYSE:NWS) Rupert Murdoch and Liberty Media's (NASDAQ:LCAPA) John Malone build and shape their companies is a sport unto itself. Both shepherd media companies, an industry I'm convinced can notably benefit from strong, creative leadership. This week, the first two players on that list forged yet another shrewd slam dunk of a deal.

Malone and Murdoch took a major step this week toward resolving a two-year standoff. News Corp.'s shareholders approved an $11 billion asset swap, which will increase Murdoch's control over his company while giving Malone and Liberty control of DirecTV (NYSE:DTV), the nation's largest satellite TV provider. The agreement, approved by 99.8% of News Corp.'s Class B shareholders, will see the company buy back the 16.3% of its stock now owned by Liberty. In exchange, Liberty will obtain a 38.5% controlling interest in DirecTV and $588 million in cash.

Murdoch began investing in DirecTV in 2003, with an eye toward creating a global satellite operation. Since then, he's apparently decided that satellite's ability to compete with cable has been diminished by the attractiveness of cable's triple-play offerings. In 2004, Malone began investing in News Corp., prompting Murdoch to install a poison-pill takeover defense for his company.

Now, Malone will be able to call the shots at DirecTV, and Murdoch will be freed from what he apparently perceived as a looming takeover threat. The Murdoch family will also effectively increase its ownership of News Corp. to 38% of the total shares, from their current 31%. The deal must now gain FCC approval; it may be completed by the middle of this year.

Both superstars continue to come up winners, and I believe that even Fools with little taste for more traditional athletic pursuits should keep an eye on the teams being fielded at News Corp. and Liberty.

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Fool contributor David Lee Smith does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned. He welcomes your questions or comments. The Fool has a disclosure policy.