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 http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1004-200...html?tag=mn_hd




NEW YORK--EchoStar Communications, looking to buy the DirecTV satellite TV business, is negotiating another $5.5 billion in financing for the deal.


By adding more cash to its previous all-stock offer, EchoStar may be better able to compete with News Corp., its rival in the bidding, The New York Times reported in its online edition on Thursday, citing executives close to the company.


The report said the loan would allow EchoStar to sweeten its bid beyond the $30.4 billion stock offer it already has, or cut the stock component. General Motors has said that at least $5 billion of offers must be in cash, the report noted.

EchoStar secured a commitment from financial adviser UBS Warburg for half of the loan and is near a pact with Deutsche Bank for the rest, the executives said, according to the report.


According to the report, the executives said GM executives have been wary of a deal with EchoStar because it is possible that regulators may try to block the deal on antitrust issues.


News Corp. has been in talks with GM for nearly a year to buy Hughes Electronics, the unit that owns DirecTV, the report noted. According to the report, the executives said that proposal is hard to compare with EchoStar's because News Corp. plans to merge its satellite TV business with that of Hughes.


:D
 

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So if Echostar were to buy DirecTV, what are the chances us DISH subscribers would be able to get HDNET??? and for that matter all the sports packages as well.....hmmmm. That would be cool!


Any thoughts on the possibilities?


Tim
 

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If Dish buys Direct TV then we Dish subscribers would have access to HDNet and all the channels and programing packages Direct Tv offers. How would this work, I don't know, maybe we would have to get new receivers??? But the final decision will be made by October 31st (or so the news say) so lets keep our fingers crossed.
 

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If Dish acquired DTV that would be a bad thing for hdtv. The competition between dbs would disappear. Competition is a good thing. Prices would likely go up and dish already said they would make every DTV customer switch to their hardware making YOUR equipment useless for dbs programming. Its good to have a choice in providers.
 

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Dish getting HDNet? That depends on the contracts DirecTV has for the broadcast rights to sports events. Are they transferable to the new owner? I think we would have to wait and see. Most likely they would be transferable but it will take some time to add the additional channels that DirecTV uses for the sports stuff over to Dish - allowing HDNet onto the Dish system.
 

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More satellites equals less compression, which both companies are aiming for.
 

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Quote:
If Dish acquired DTV that would be a bad thing for hdtv. The competition between dbs would disappear.
The real competitive fight is between cable and satellite, not echostar vs directv. If echostar could buy directv, they would have more transponders which they could use to have more local station coverage which would help them compete with cable. And by stopping all of the duplication of channels, they might have enough bandwidth to add more HDTV. This would be a good thing. I hope it happens.
 

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Folks, there is not a real sense of perspective here, so let me try.


First of all, if Dish buys DirecTV, all existing programming will eventually be available to all subscribers of both systems (unless some programming becomes unviable and no one wants it). Dish/Directv will have about 16 million subs, or roughly 15% of all U.S. households. With the likely sale of AT&T Broadband to someone else, it won't be the biggest multicannel operator, but it will be among the top 3 in all probability. No channel will not wish carriage on such a system.


Second of all, it's gonna take years to realize the benefits of the merger. Many years. The only way to "free up bandwidth" is to go to unscrambled signals or to replace all the IRDs of DirecTV with Dish's Nagra-compatible IRDs. The two systems use fundamentally incompatible encryption standards. There is no way to modify a DirecTV box to work with Dish's decryption technology.


Therefore, every single DirecTV box will have to be either replace or modified with a Dish descrambler. While Charlie Ergen of Echostar has been quoted as saying that all the DirecTV boxes will be replaced, I don't believe he has said that and -- furthermore -- I doubt it will happen. Rather than replacing all the pieces of the DirecTV box, it's more likely a piggyback device that goes into the card slot of the DirecTV box (or simply into the RF input) and itself has the Dish decryption technology and smart card will exist.


The end result will be that the DirecTV box sees a totally unscrambled signal and the tiny Dish-compatible box supports the Nagra Conditional Access system and only decrypts those frequencies you are authorized for. If you then tuned the DirecTV box to an invalid channel, you'd see nothing but blackness.


Regardless, there is (a) no merger agreement on the table between the two parties (b) no approved deal by shareholders (c) no anti-trust clearance [which I believe *will* be granted, albeit not without a few months of time passing]. Once all that has been achieved, there will then be a multi-year plan to phase out DirecTV boxes and/or adapt them through external adaptation.


Existing specialty DirecTV boxes that have better features than Dish boxes will continue to exist because Dish will be forced -- as a condition of anti-trust approval -- to open up manufacturing of their boxes. So things like Tivo boxes, UltimateTV boxes, etc. will live long and prosper. They will just be rebuilts with Nagra technology rather than News Datacorp technology.


Mark
 

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Kipp,

Quote:
The competition between dbs would disappear. Competition is a good thing.
In general, competition *is* a good thing - However, I don't see the current market as DirecTV and Dish competing with each other more than I see both of them competing with the cable companies. For this reason, I honestly can't see prices going up if the merger goes through. Heck, Charlie himself has apparently referred people to DirecTV if they were more interested in sports than general programming.


As for HD, I wouldn't say that any of the current HD programming on either network was spurred by competition between them.


Just my perspective.


Roddie
 
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