GM board approves Echostar bid to buy DirecTV division

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Danny R, Oct 28, 2001.

  1. Danny R

    Danny R Supporting Actor

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    Stockholder and regulatory approval still ahead of course, but interesting times ahead. If this merger goes well, the advantages are spectacular. With all the satellites coming under control of one company, the bandwidth will be drastically increased, which means the number of channels and picture quality would dramatically improve. We could possibly see HDTV locals being passed along.
    The new company will eventually have to replace all current receivers. Hopefully we'll see something like a SuperTivo at this point (2 yrs down the road?), and not an echostar PVR unit.
     
  2. Dan B

    Dan B Screenwriter

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    Whoops, you beat me to it. (I just posted another similar topic)
    Here's a link to the story:
    http://biz.yahoo.com/rf/011028/n28126690_1.html
    It's not clear yet that this would be approved.
    -Dan B
    [Edited last by Robert Crawford on October 28, 2001 at 07:30 PM]
     
  3. Michael St. Clair

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    Yes!
    I know some people will say that I am crazy, but this is best for the consumer. The real competitor is cable.
     
  4. James Reyes

    James Reyes Stunt Coordinator

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  5. Rich Allen

    Rich Allen Second Unit

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    Sorry, but I think its horrible. The competition between the two had been good. Without it, expect more expensive hardware and higher prices.
    And regular cable is not the competition for it. Digital cable is not available widespread yet.
    From what I hear, several in the government have monopoly issues with it and I do hope they kill the deal.
     
  6. Michael St. Clair

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    Nah, this baby is going to go through.
    As far as monopoly issues, if DishTV starts charging people different rates based on where they live, I see legal intervention happening real fast. But Charlie knows that such behavior is a no-no, so DishTV will cost the same to everybody no matter where they are. Digital Cable affects enough of their marketing areas that if they raised their rates to screw the rural people, they'd lose too much business in the digital cable areas. Hence, the win-win solution is reasonable pricing and that is what you will see happening. This will be good for everyone, including those who stick with cable.
    I'd be much more concerned about vertical integration of Rupert Murdoch / Fox with the satellite industry!
    Update: Oh, and this is absolutely going to be the best thing for picture quality and HD content!
    [Edited last by Michael St. Clair on October 29, 2001 at 08:44 AM]
     
  7. Mark Booth

    Mark Booth Screenwriter

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    My concern is the possible need to replace all current receivers. I'm shopping for a HDTV tuner/receiver now. I am primarily interested in OTA but figured it would be money well spent to go ahead and get a satellite capable STB. I had pretty much decided to go with the Toshiba DST3000. With this news, I'm now reconsidering that and will likely buy the Samsung SIR-T150. I can get it for under $400 (after rebate) so it's not a huge amount of money if I later decide to get the (new) satellite.
    Mark
     
  8. Larry Schneider

    Larry Schneider Second Unit

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    Lots of co-workers have asked me about switching from cable to a dish system - cost seems to be more important than quality or the availability of channels. The average viewer is content with the cable signal and channel selection, it's the horrible customer service that drives them off.
    There are a lot of questions to be answered:
    If Echostar's goal is to provide a service for the elite who will pay more for exotic channels and a DVD-quality picture, we might see prices rise. I for one would be willing to pay. If, on the other hand Echostar wants to attract more average people they'll have to keep prices down. Will we see more channels? More HDTV? The best possible picture? I hope so, but who knows?
    And, of course, they'll have to merge the current customers. If Dish equipment is to be standard there will have to be some incentive for DirecTV people, the majority, to switch to Dish equipment. That will cost money - less if it's the Dish people who have to buy new equipment.
    How do the dishes line up at various orbital locations? What sort of equipment will be needed to receive all the satellites, and how will the programming be assigned?
     
  9. Michael St. Clair

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    Charlie already touted more HD programming as a merger benefit.
    They've got to work on the SDTV quality as well. My local cable has a better picture than DirecTV or DISH. Spot beams + merger should (ultimately) allow better picture quality, more HD, and even more locals.
     
  10. Ken Stuart

    Ken Stuart Second Unit

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    This should be better for everyone - except the cable companies and the pirates.
    - PQ should be better, because right now, every channel is transmitted twice. Cutting the number of channels to about 55% of what it is now, should free up a huge amount of bandwidth. There are only perhaps a dozen channels out there not on either service, and I'm sure some more local channels would be added, but the result will be a large net bandwidth increase and better PQ.
    - The removal of duplication also should result in cost savings, rather than cost increases for consumers.
    - The new company plans to develop an entire new line of receivers, since the two companies' hardware is incompatible, and because the DirecTV hardware system is very vulnerable to pirating. There are plans to spend One Billion just on developing the new security system for the new receivers.
    - The deal includes over a billion dollars to subsidize the cost of replacing everyone's receivers. I would estimate that won't happen until 2003, and there is always the possibility that the deal will be blocked, so you should not change any current hardware purchasing decision due to the merger. That said, I would generally not assume that DBS hardware is going to give you more than a couple of years of service, simply because the hardware of 2003 - even if the merger doesn't happen - will be far beyond today's receivers.
    - As far as the anti-trust aspects, EchoStar has hired David Boies - who prosecuted Microsoft for the Justice Department in the anti-trust case (among other famous cases). So, he is experienced in high-level anti-trust cases - and already knows what sort of arguments the prosecutors will use. [​IMG]
     
  11. Rich Allen

    Rich Allen Second Unit

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    The duplicate channels will still have to be duplicated. The different sattelites can't be licked up bt the same receiver. They aren't located in a position like the seconday ones for Direct TV are.
    To get everyone on board the same hardware will cost money and guess who will end up paying for that one. The subscriber.
    They will have to decide which standards to adopt, probably Echocstars, (and it's not more difficult to hack than Direct TV, just search arround the net), because they are the ones doing the buying. Then what satellites will carry what? While I don't see them wasting satellites, are DirectTV's able to transmitt Dishnets protocols?
    I still don't see one way this will benefit the consumer. Except they won't have to choose between two competitors.
     
  12. Todd_N

    Todd_N Agent

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    I think the deal could be great for the consumer, but I have 2 concerns:
    1) The main reason why I went with DirecTV was NFL sunday ticket and Dish network doesnt seem to place much emphasis on sports programming. I hope that Echostar will renew with the NFL after the current contract expires after next season.
    2) I recently purchased and RCA-DTC 100. If this merger requires any hardware changes (which I am sure it will), it better be done at their expense and not the consumer.
    Todd
     
  13. Stephen_M

    Stephen_M Agent

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    http://www.dbsforums.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/000922.html
    Buried in the topic above, from Dan Collins, one of the more informed mods at dbsforums.com, the following description of the merged future seems to be the most logical:
    "101 and 119 will be made duplicates of each other, and locals will be handled through spot beams at both slots. But the 110 WILL be the core slot in the future. Here's yet another reason why: 8PSK technology.
    Echostar has already signed a deal to include 8PSK demodulation in STBs. This would allow DOUBLE the current bandwidth on EACH transponder. They will completely CLEAR 110, and make it a duplicate of 119 and 101, but using 8PSK, and therefore, only half the capacity. They will then migrate everybody onto 110 as the core slot with new 8PSK compatible receivers, with the ability to add a LOT more programming on the core slot. Then, they can shutdown core on 119 and 101 and add more locals, or other programming, with either 8PSK (if they want to spend the money at the uplinks) or leave them as QPSK. With the 4 spot beam satellites at 2 slots, they can cover A LOT OF LOCALS, even at QPSK densities."
     
  14. Ken Stuart

    Ken Stuart Second Unit

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    quote: I think the deal could be great for the consumer, but I have 2 concerns:
    1) The main reason why I went with DirecTV was NFL sunday ticket and Dish network doesnt seem to place much emphasis on sports programming. I hope that Echostar will renew with the NFL after the current contract expires after next season.
    2) I recently purchased and RCA-DTC 100. If this merger requires any hardware changes (which I am sure it will), it better be done at their expense and not the consumer.[/quote]
    Although I am not a fortune teller [​IMG], I see no reason why EchoStar would fail to renew the NFL Sunday Ticket, and allow it to vanish from satellite altogether.
    Remember that with a combined 17 million subscribers, EchoStar will have more clout in negotiations with programming distributors, and will get a better price per subscriber. This will contribute to the lower - rather than higher costs.
    In the case of Sunday Ticket, I think the end result will be about the same price for those subscribers, since currently every DirecTV subscriber subsidizes the Sunday Ticket, which is a practice that Charlie has always criticized. However, the removal of that burden will - again - lower overall DirecTV subscription costs.
    BTW, it's been announced that the new company will be "EchoStar" and the new product will be "DirecTV".
    To answer your second question, the following is in the official announcement:
    " EchoStar and Hughes have pledged that the merger would not
    cause disruption of service or additional expense to existing customers of either DIRECTV or DISH Network service. "
    [Edited last by Ken Stuart on October 29, 2001 at 08:02 PM]
     
  15. Paul W

    Paul W Second Unit

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    I just hope this means I can get HDNet on my Dish Network receiver soon.
    [​IMG]
    ------------------
    [​IMG] Paul Warren
    Hey fella . . . I bet you're still livin' in your parent's cellar . . . downloading pictures of Sarah Michelle Gellar . . . and posting "Me too!" like some brain-dead AOL-er . . . I should do the world a favor and cap ya' like Old Yeller . . . you're just about as useless as MPEGs [sic] to Hellen Keller.
     

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