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Neil Cavuto from Fox News Channel(owned by News Corp.) will air an interview with ECHOSTAR'S CHARLIE ERGEN AND G-M'S JOHN DEVINE today in the 4p hour, should hit air at 4:09 et. It will replay overnight at 1:09a et.


(not a plug, I'm a D* subcriber, w/ D*TiVo, DTC-100 and a standard box )


(well o.k., kinda a plug, I work for FNC)


Jim
 

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Kudos for the heads-up, JD. I've never even seen a picture of King Charlie, so this'll give me an opportunity wave (my middle finger) at him during the interview.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Ray H
...so this'll give me an opportunity wave (my middle finger) at him during the interview.
LOL:)


I missed it live so Ill tape the replay at 1AM. Ray, what was your first impression of Charlie? Bet it was the same as mine when I first saw him on a Charlie Chat in Febuary of '99.


Steve
 

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Actually the guy struck me as quite personable - almost charismatic. I can understand now why the Dish Network devotees admire him to the degree they do. But, my worry is that the day-to-day operations of a combined company in debt ~20% of its cap value is going to require a LOT of that charisma to keep the subscriber base on board. Servicing ~15 Billion dollars in debt load doesn't leave much room for churn. Several things to look (listen?) for when you watch the replay:


1> Ergen stated that he's looking at a complete IRD swapout - both DirecTV and Dish Network equipment. With 40% of the combined 17 million subscribers likely having multiple boxes, there's some major expense coming to the tune of nearly 24 million boxes. ****I had previously posted that he would wait to undertake such a move until he passed the regulatory hurdles. Not so sure, now. If he starts the swapout sooner rather than later, the regulators may be cut off at the pass if everyone is converted to new boxes: The Windoze model prior to the Micro$oft antitrust case.****


2> A distinct possibility that the replacement boxes will be dual service capable.


3> An admission that he (Ergen) was forced to give up absolute control over the combined company. (Though how long that will last is anyone's guess)


4> Rupert Murdoch will figure prominently in continuing to supply programming, and may well figure in some future cooperative business venture between his own holdings and the combined company.


Charlie was under the gun and being effectively skewered during the interview (Hey, it was on the Fox News Channel, after all... Give 'im credit for going live on Murdoch media, though.), so his from-the-hip comments may be subject to revisionist modifications in the days to come. 'Course if Charlie ends up falling flat on his keester, you-know-who'll be right there to buy up the pieces at fire sale prices.


**** Whoops! This personal opinion is probably wrong. Several posts over at DBSForums are adamant that Charlie cannot undertake a box swap involving DirecTV subscribers until and unless the merger is finalized and survives antitrust scrutiny.
 

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Thanks for the recap of the interview, Ill tape the replay since I missed it live.


Steve
 
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