In addition to smiling sarcastically at the journalist when he presented the French billionaire as his emulator, John Malone described Altice as "cooked" in the United States. Patrick Drahi's group seems fatally caught between declining operating profit and the exploding cost of its gargantuan debt.
Malone was quick to reiterate what some insiders have been whispering for a long time, namely that Altice is up for sale but struggling to find a buyer. Patrick Drahi's American adventure, which began ten years ago, has so far ended in failure. While Drahi is accustomed to making spectacular U-turns, the situation is not looking good at the moment.
Among his other comments, Malone reiterated his prophecy that Apple would one day be the buyer of choice for Disney's media activities and content library, currently undergoing a major restructuring.
On this subject, some speculate that the mystery stock currently being bought by Berkshire Hathaway - which has asked the SEC for exceptional treatment in order not to reveal the details of the transaction - would be Disney.
For the record, Liberty Media has just joined Berkshire Hathaway's portfolio.
Malone also conceded - not for the first time - that streaming remained an unprofitable business for those who tried their hand at it, with the notable exception of Netflix, whose overwhelming dominance he once again emphasized, without failing to praise the remarkable management of Reed Hastings' group.
A key shareholder in Warner Bros Discovery, the Liberty Media chairman also did not spare Paramount, which reportedly continues to burn money in the development of its streaming offer that it can hardly afford to lose.
Malone has long advocated a closer relationship between content producers, who would then have more leverage over distributors rather than trying to ensure distribution themselves via their streaming platforms.
Finally, the "cable cow boy" put Charter's predicament into perspective, insisting that the cable operator's debt, though substantial, was intelligently structured, since it was low-cost and well spread over time.
Everyone will be the judge.