Rupert Murdoch is selling DirecTV ( DTV), and it may be time for stockholders to do the same.

Shares of the U.S.'s leading satellite TV provider almost doubled in price last year amid better-than-expected profits and widespread speculation that an M&A deal was in the works.

Now, with Murdoch's News Corp. ( NWS) dealing its stake in DirecTV to John Malone's Liberty Media ( LCAPA), such speculation is poised to die down for a while -- or at least until the transaction closes midway through 2007.

Meanwhile, Murdoch's willingness to part with the company may be a sign that a favorable merger deal for DirecTV is unlikely, and the new bundled service offerings from cable and phone operators could zap its ability to compete for subscribers.

"Ultimately, the satellite model has challenges in competition with the cable and telecom industry as they leverage the ability to sell TV, phone and Internet service all together in one bundle," says UBS analyst Aryeh Bourkoff. "2007 is the year that the bundle shows real results across the board for those that have it, and DirecTV won't have it."

Bundled offerings from cable operators, such as Time Warner's ( TWX) so-called Triple Play, enabled the traditional cable industry to enjoy subscriber growth in 2006 for the first time in years. At the same time, satellite providers DirecTV and EchoStar's ( DISH) DISH Network have seen their subscriber growth slow.