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Discussion Starter #1
Looks like the deal is final. Just got this from MSNBC news alert.

http://www.msnbc.com/news/648800.asp?0na=21017K2G


"GM to sell Hughes Electronics


Sources: EchoStar buying satellite system for 25.8 billion


DETROIT, Oct. 27 — General Motors Corp. Sunday agreed to sell its satellite television unit Hughes Electronics Corp. for $25.8 billion in cash and shares to EchoStar Communications Corp., sources familiar with the negotiations told Reuters.


ONE PERSON TOLD Reuters that the decision to sell Hughes, the owner of satellite television service provider DirectTV to Echostar was taken at a board meeting which started at 5 p.m. in New York and it is still going on.


“Most of the details have been finalized, a few things are still left but its done, its been decided,†he said.


Echostar declined to comment and neither General Motors nor Hughes were immediately available for comment. "


Any ideas as to what will happen to UTV? Wonder how Microsoft fits into this picture.
 

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This should be very interesting since Echostar has filed suit against Microsoft for abandoning its Dishplayer product. I can't see MS doing business with a company which is suing them. I don't have a good feeling about this...:(
 

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hmm, so will all DirecTV equipment be phased out or will all Dish equipment be phased out?


wonder how this will affect all us UTV and DirecTivo customer and if Echostar even cares....
 

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Probably not a good thing for UTV's future given how much Echostar hates Microsoft. I will be curious how it affects TiVo as well. Echostar may promote TiVo to hurt MS because they feel screwed by them over the DishPlayer, or they may just drop both as they move to their own hardware.


Hard to know.


/carmi
 

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Dish receivers suck! This is a big mistake on their part if they try to switch people to their garbage. They better allow others like Sony, RCA, UTV, Tivo to make boxes or we will be looking at another bail out for Dish.



Maybe we will get lucky and this will be shot down by the FCC.


Or maybe M$ will buy out Dish.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I think UTV will be alive for quite a while. DISH wants to keep all its newly aquired DirecTV customers. Would also be nice if they dropped the $9.95 monthly fee that DirecTV charges for UTV.


A simple solution would be to for DISH to "upgrade" the DISH 501 PRV to use Microsoft UTV software, and form a better relationship with Microsoft.
 

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Shareholder approval and/or regulatory approval could take a while. Deals of this magnitude are often not finalized for several months to years.
 

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Assuming the deal is approved, $ will likely drive the decisions.


It will probably matter little that Echostar might dislike MS for recent DishPlayer actions. They will likely make choices that they believe will maximize their profit potential.


Doing anything that would result in the loss of any sizeable customer base seems unlikely. They would want to keep both DISH and DirecTV customers. Little change would be expected in the short term.


The long term question is another story. Keeping two different SAT systems alive is more costly than keeping one. However user equipment changeover would be a massic effort as there are something like 10 million users of both DISH and DirecTV (about 19 M total today). Tivo and UTV users are a tiny percentage either way.


Both DISH and DTV have multiple birds in the sky. It's not clear whether it might be possible to product a user dish that could receive from both DISH and DTV birds. If that was possible, that alone would expand the channel capacity for ECHOStar if they went with a single sat system.


Then security enters the picture. It seems that DTV has more sat pirate users than DISH. Unless DTV can figure out how to solve this for future customers, this alone might be a major factor in the long term decision.


One way or another there will likely be some changes coming. The question is what and when.


Ed
 

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Regardless of which platform they decide on, I'm excited about the fact that they will have satellites galore. Think about it, since there will be a lot of duplication of channels. I hope this may usher in the use of less MPEG compression and finally get kick butt picture quality. On the other hand, mergers never seem to work out as perfectly as we wish.
 

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Ed,


From what I hear, E* is much easier to pirate than D*. It's just that D* has the sports and more subscribers.


I would expect that a new dual-mode receiver will sooner or later be phased in. Note that the new brand will be DirecTV.


Bruce
 

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I wouldn't get too worried about this, the chance of the FTC approving is slim to none because it would create a monopoly, IMHO. Even if it is approved, there are many many more DTV subscribers than Dish, so it is likely that the Dish subs will be converted to DTV. This is what DTV did when it bought Primestar and the conversion took a couple of years.
 

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If the deal does go through perhaps the local channel offering could be enhanced, because of duplicate channel offerings on the satellites being eliminated. Boston does not receive WB or UPN or a local PBS, only the four major networks (I think FOX should be counted as major by now).
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Bruce M
Ed,


From what I hear, E* is much easier to pirate than D*. It's just that D* has the sports and more subscribers.


I would expect that a new dual-mode receiver will sooner or later be phased in. Note that the new brand will be DirecTV.


Bruce
You may be right, however I have never heard anything about Echo pirating. The last data I saw showed DTV with 10 M subscribers and DISH with 9 M, about equal.


One challenge with a dual mode receiver is disk pointing. Not sure a simple/small disk could easily see both E and D birds, but I have no data on where E birds are located.


The problem with any hardware changes is the massive size of the effort. Replacing 5-20 M customers with 2 receivers each is a big effort, ignoring cost...


Ed
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Ed Dixon



You may be right, however I have never heard anything about Echo pirating. The last data I saw showed DTV with 10 M subscribers and DISH with 9 M, about equal.


dish network has 6 million, almost 7 million subscribers.

Quote:
One challenge with a dual mode receiver is disk pointing. Not sure a simple/small disk could easily see both E and D birds, but I have no data on where E birds are located.
DIsh Network has satellite at 61.5, 110, 119

and 148w. ...


Ed
[/quote]
 

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E* ~6.4 Million subs

D* ~10.3 Million subs (1 million of those are hackers)


For E* main locations are 119 and 110 with slide slots at 148 (west cost) and 61.5 (east cost). I think the merger will be the death of UTV :( TiVo will most likly prevail, given history with E* and MS.


Steve
 

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He has no chance of fighting of MS. UTV would buy him out before he does them in.
 

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DISH pirating is happening, it's just not as easy, therefore not as extensive as DTV.

I did see Charlie being interviewed on Fox News by Neil Cavuto yesterday. Neil asked him about subscriber conversion and he made some remark about the possibility of a future receiver that would combine DISH and DTV technologies. Didn't make much sense to me but you could see him try to duck the issue, without giving a answer with a plan.

Let's hope the deal does not receive regulatory approval. Cable is not competition and some of us don't even have that option.
 

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Assuming that the combined company wants to compete in the markets that do have an alternate choice (i.e., digital cable) and they are forced to have the same fee regardless of the user's location, wouldn't that be considered competition? If they jack up prices to the point where digital cable in most markets is a better deal, they'll start to lose customers.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Bruce M
Note that the new brand will be DirecTV.
There is some confusion on this note. Just to clarify...


According to Reuters:

"The new combined group will retain the EchoStar name will be headed by EchoStar boss Charlie Ergen as its chief executive and chairman."


From http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-200....html?tag=lthd


And according to the LA Times:

"The new company will employ 14,000 people and retain the EchoStar corporate name, use DirecTV as the product brand..."

http://www.latimes.com/news/printedi...072oct29.story
 
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