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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What are your predictions on the future, if Charlie is sucessful in buying out DirecTV? What will hardware, programming packages, costs be like? My prediction, all IRDs will be make by other manufactures other then GMH and Echostar. Sony, Philips, RCA and more will make regulars IRDs, HD IRDs and PVRs. A new 30" dish antenna will replace current dishs being able to recieve 101, 110, 119 and possiblly one of the side slots at 61.5 or 148 (depending on location). Majority of all DMAs will be up, including all must carry channels. The 2 providers currently have 12 birds up with more schedueled to be launched. Programming packages would have more channels for about the same price. Those are just some of my predictions.


Steve
 

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I'm depressed enough to say, now the E* has won, I think DBS is going to die off slowly. Competition made DBS a great way to go.


That's all gone. D* will die a painful death, taking all it's subscribers with it. (that's figuratively speaking - but a significant number will never move and the image to the general public will be that DBS is falling. This impression will be made by all the millions of complaints from current D* subscribers that will grumble and grip about the transition).


One Company will have a hard time fighting the Ground level signal abuses that are coming from companies wanting the spectrum. This will be true because of the Debt load placed on E* for this purchase.


Whatever you might say about D*, at least they allowed other companies to manufacture receivers and provide some diversity to the consumer. That will be gone.
 

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I'm amazed at the "sky is falling" scenarios being offered. DBS won't go away. It offers far too many benefits over cable. The acquisition by Echostar is much more positive than if Rupert Murdoch had succeeded.


The real competitor to DBS is cable. Directv was already starting to spiral downward...just compare the P/L statements just issued by Direct and Echostar.


Also, apparently the Directv brandname will replace DISH, although Echostar will be the parent corporation. I would be surprised if SONY, Mits, RCA, others, aren't allowed to continue producing settop boxes. I suspect that existing contractural agreements would preclude the big names from being precluded from continuing as a equipment supplier.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Dmon4u
I'm depressed enough to say, now the E* has won, I think DBS is going to die off slowly. Competition made DBS a great way to go.


That's all gone. D* will die a painful death, taking all it's subscribers with it. (that's figuratively speaking - but a significant number will never move and the image to the general public will be that DBS is falling. This impression will be made by all the millions of complaints from current D* subscribers that will grumble and grip about the transition).


One Company will have a hard time fighting the Ground level signal abuses that are coming from companies wanting the spectrum. This will be true because of the Debt load placed on E* for this purchase.


Whatever you might say about D*, at least they allowed other companies to manufacture receivers and provide some diversity to the consumer. That will be gone.


I disagree with this assessment completely. The future of DBS satellite service is better than it was before this decision was made. Now, Charlie Ergen will be able to focus all attention and all guns on the real enemy of the people - the C-E industry - the broadcasters - everybody - the evil empire known as cableTV . Both D* and E* have been spinning their collective wheels battling each other rather than both going after "cable".


I see nothing but positives in store for all concerned. More HDTV for openers - more DolbyDigital sound - more of everything that everybody wants, including even lower programming prices (not immediately, but down the road a bit).


That's my 27 cent assessment


woodman
 

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Well, I hope cwood and woodman are correct in their optimism, but, I'll confess to harboring Steve's pessimism. (Hope for the best; prepare for the worst?) Whether Charlie Ergen is actually branded a monopolist is going to be the subject of a lot of specualtion on the boards. But, the fact remains that the determination will be through due consideration by the Justice Department, not our mercurial ruminations.
 

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I am very skeptical as well.


I really think a satelite monopoly is a sign of the cable and satelite providers carving up their respective slices.


Satelite does and will have a problem achieving the bandwidth of the cable providers.


Cable can't be used everywhere.


So that's the dividing line for each to exploit their respective niches, IMHO.


If you think I'm a little too skeptical, read the press release. They quickly state that the merger will only have 17% of the market while cable has 80%. You won't normally see a press release where the company brags about how SMALL they are! They are and should be concerned about FTC and monoply type talk. However, what is there obligation to rural America? Can they form a monopoly and charge whatever they want? I can sell my car for $1 million but that doesn't mean anyone is forced to buy it. Are satelite frequencies allicated by the FCC with the stipulations on how those frequencies can be used?


I don't think the government will let the deal go through in its current fashion. I think they will force some sort of mechanism for competition for those who don't have cable as an option.


I rember 7 years ago when DSS was expensive and cable was crappy. When DSS got cheaper, cable had to become competitive again. At the time I bought my DSS receiver for $699 and don't regret it one bit. Now that Warner Cable has made better use of their bandwidth and improved their service, I have Warner again.


None of which would have happened without solid competition.


-Mr. Wigggles
 

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Quote:
I don't think the government will let the deal go through in its current fashion. I think they will force some sort of mechanism for competition for those who don't have cable as an option.
The fact that some folks do not have cable as an option is not a result of any monopolistic practice on the part of DBS companies.


The fact is that rural America does not have cable access because the cable companies have decided that it is not economically feasible for them to provide it.


The DBS industry has done nothing to hinder cable's entry into this market, and the fact that they (CATV) have opted not to pursue it should not be used against the DBS industry. It's kind of like saying you can't build a McDonalds because there isn't a Burger King down the street.


I agree that some assurances will need to be made and certain restrictions may be placed on the new company, but the "no competition" argument just doesn't hold water. As far as I can tell both D* and E* have always had national pricing policies and never charged more to those without cable as an alternative. I see no reason they would start now.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by chs4



I agree that some assurances will need to be made and certain restrictions may be placed on the new company, but the "no competition" argument just doesn't hold water. As far as I can tell both D* and E* have always had national pricing policies and never charged more to those without cable as an alternative. I see no reason they would start now.
The reason they had agressive pricing was because D* and E* were competing against each other. Yes there prices will remain nation wide; but I think they would prefer gaining a lot more margin off of the rural people with some loss to their urban viewership where they are having a tough time competeing as-is.


I see an end to the cut throat pricing/free equipment in the future.


If you reread my post, you will see that I do argue that it is uncertain that there has to be competition in the premium-content TV market.


My argument does hold water.


-Mr. Wigggles
 

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No, MrWiggles, your arguments don't hold much water at all. Your grasp of the situation is bewildering to say the least.


You said that - "satellite does and will have trouble trying to achieve the bandwidth of cable"! Au contraire. In fact, it's the other way around. Echostar has FAR more bandwidth than any cable operator that I know of - before any merger. After a merger takes place, the gap will widen even further!


You also think that becoming just one company will mean an end to Charlie's aggresive customer acquisitions? I doubt it very much.


I don't know who was responsible for the "facts" in the press release that you referred to, but as far as I know cableTV has never held any 80% of the American viewing households. The last number I encountered was around 67% and it has been steadily slipping as more and more people see the light and escape from the clutches of the dreaded cable monster. I would guess that today their share of the market is probably under 65%. Maybe Echostar was just trying to over-dramatize the size of the hill they will try to climb.


FYI - the FCC does NOT have any say-so in how a television broadcaster (or satellite-delivered channel or system) will use the allotted bandwidth - never have - never will.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by woodman
FYI - the FCC does NOT have any say-so in how a television broadcaster (or satellite-delivered channel or system) will use the allotted bandwidth - never have - never will.
Actually they do, for DBS, 4% must be saved for PI channels.


Steve
 

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Folks, let's be nice; no one's crystal ball is perfect - we're all just guessing.


DBS is in for a dramatic change. The drama COULD be the price gouging of a monopoly - which will drive a sizable number of us to cable. OR the drama could be the best HD delivery mechanism possible - with all those birds up there, there's plenty of band width.


There is a better chance of the latter now, than there was before the merger. It's no sure thing, and there might be a premium price - but when has cost ever really been an issue for getting the best possible in home theater?
 

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Maybe I am wrong, but I jus don't hear much talk about broadband over satelite in a each-house-gets-to-see-what-they-want-when-they-want sense.


Cable has yet to come close to its infrastructure potential. You have to rember that most cable TV is currently wasting 70+ channel spots on NTSC that could easilly (and one day will be) 70+ channels of of uncompressed HD! That just the tip of the proverbial iceburg.


The 80% was from the Echostar/Hughes/Directv etc. joint press release. I didn't make that number up. They might have made it up to emphasize how small they are. I don't know.


Please read my posts carefully. "think", "normally", etc. don't mean "know for fact", "always", etc. I don't write in absolutes because I can't see into the future as clearly as others.


However, I do KNOW that I DEFINITATELY bring up some good points and observations.


BTW,


"FYI - the FCC does NOT have any say-so in how a television broadcaster (or satellite-delivered channel or system) will use the allotted bandwidth - never have - never will."


:rolleyes:


-Mr. Wigggles
 

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Trouble is that competition is the heart of "low price / high quality-quanity"


Currently, some people have at least the two DBS companies for their TV. Charlie says that he will hold prices for these rural areas.


Most people have a better three way competition. It's usual that no company wants to be number three in any market. Prices stay low or are held down.


Now, expect that in most cases, price will be very close. There is no need to worry about being third. When one company needs to raise prices, it will be so easy for the other to simply go along and match the increase.
 

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I think the single most important factor is how the transition to one set of standard equipment is handled. Obviously the bandwidth will double. I think most current users wouldn't mind paying a little more for improved services.

What people will mind is having to fork over money to transition to new equipment.

Obviously E* cannot afford to lose customers during a transition to different hardware.


Simple economics would suggest that adopting some kind of a Directv standard is more feasible(10 million to 6 million). However, it is possible there are significant hardware limitations of both current services that will have to be addressed to take advantage of the availablity of the extra bandwidth and birds.


At this point is impossible to say how it will play out. One this is for sure, the Cable industry will do its best to take customers and drive it out of business during this transition.


For what it is worth, my 2 cents.
 

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As a consumer who was on the virge of jumping in to hdtv, dbs, etc. the recent announcements have convinced me to do nothing more than to keep my money in my pocket until this has been ironed out, and the companies involved have stated exactly what their intentions are and plans for deployment will consist of.
 

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This is the statement from the DirectTV web site:


HUGHES/EchoStar Merger:

Great News for DIRECTV Customers

On October 28, 2001, General Motors and EchoStar Communications Corp. signed an agreement to merge HUGHES and its subsidiary companies (including DIRECTV) with EchoStar.

EchoStar owns the DISH Network.

Until the merger is approved, both companies will continue to operate separately as competitors.

This is exciting news for DIRECTV customers, since a combined satellite provider would be able to deliver even more channels, more choices and more value.

Experts estimate that approval may take 9-12 months, which would put it roughly in Summer or Fall of 2002.

DIRECTV will be the name of the new service.

The new equipment design is still undetermined, but any equipment replacement would be at no cost to customers.

With millions of receivers potentially needing replacement, customer conversion could take several years.

In the interim, DIRECTV continues planning other service enhancements, such as the launch of new local channels in December 2001.

As usual, if something changes we’ll do our best to notify our customers in advance.





Questions & Answers



Why combine the DIRECTV® service and DISH Network service?

The new DIRECTV® service will REALLY knock the socks off cable. For example, with a combined service we'd have much more satellite capacity and efficiency.


Will DIRECTV or DISH Network equipment be the new standard?

This is not yet decided. There might be a whole new equipment standard. But if a current customer were to need new equipment to get the combined service, we would provide it at no charge.


When will the companies merge?

The merger can’t happen until we get various approvals. This could take at least 9 months. Then both services would continue for several years while we upgraded customers’ equipment.


I’m thinking of getting the DIRECTV® service. Should I wait?

Now is a great time to get DIRECTV® service. Our customers love the choices we provide, our excellent picture and sound quality, and the convenience of doing business with us. We’re excited about the opportunities this merger will provide to expand our service even more, and we intend to make the transition with no customer inconvenience.


I’m a DIRECTV customer. Should I convert to DISH Network now?

No. You picked DIRECTV® service for its clear advantages. The merged service will combine the best of DIRECTV and DISH Network. Why change now? If you need new equipment we’ll provide it at no cost to you.


What specific benefits would the merger bring?

Nothing is decided yet, but we would hope to do things like:


Local channels in more cities

Even more national channels

More high definition service

More pay per view selection and video on demand

Enhance our high-speed Internet service

Have enough capacity for new services nobody is offering yet today

More robust international channel lineup


Will my city get local channels from the new DIRECTV® service?

We do hope to expand our local channel coverage, and the combined company would give us more capacity to do this, but it’s too early to know specific cities.


When will more information be available?

Until the merger is approved there probably won’t be many details. However, please check this page for updates.
 
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