Many believe that for the short term, Mr. Diller will concentrate on improving the image of electronic retailing channel QVC and overseeing the May launch of sister service Q2. He may also re-open merger talks with rival Home Shopping Network.
Longer term, Mr. Diller is expected to set his sights on buying another major software company, with possible targets ranging from CBS to Time Warner (he could link up with Seagram Co., a major Time Warner shareholder).
"Clearly, the first thing for Barry is to focus on streamlining and repositioning QVC," said Chris Dixon, media analyst at PaineWebber. "He's also going to continue to look at how he can participate in the rapidly changing media and communications landscape of tomorrow."
On the day after Viacom's victory, Mr. Diller sent a signal that he is focusing his energies on QVC, at least for now.
He unveiled a restructuring that includes the retirement of QVC President Michael Boyd, a company co-founder. Mr. Boyd's position won't be filled, but Exec VP Douglas Briggs was named president of QVC Electronic Retailing, a new unit that will serve as the company's principal operating arm.
Mr. Diller said in a statement that QVC will evolve from "a one-line venture to a multiline business that will fill the multimedia spectrum with services."
QVC-which shortened its name from QVC Network as part of the restructuring-is establishing a new unit, QDirect, to produce direct response TV ads and infomercials and explore joint ventures with other cable and broadcast networks. Another new unit, QVC Interactive, will develop on-line shopping services, with the first expected to be introduced in early 1995.