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An interesting read...


Sat49 LLC Press Release, May 7, 2002:



EchoStar-DirecTV Backup Bid Sought


Reno, NV. A proposed backup offer to EchoStar’s bid to acquire DirecTV is in process by Sat49, a newly formed limited liability corporation based in Reno, Nevada. The proposed offer would require the financial participation of the parent companies of ABC (Disney), CBS (Viacom), NBC (GE) and Fox (News Corp), who have concurrently been invited to participate in the purchase. As proposed, stockholders of GM class H stock would receive 49% of the stock of the new venture, Sat49 Inc., as well as $5.697 for each of their shares of GMH stock (approximately $5 Billion). GM would receive a cash dividend of $4.2 billion prior to the divestiture of GM class H stock. For a contribution of $2 Billion, each of the media participants would receive 12.25% of the stock of Sat49 Inc., for a total ownership of 49%. Sat49 LLC would retain 2% of the stock of Sat49 Inc. The Sat49 Business Plan© mandates that neither media participant shall ever own more than 12.25% of Sat49 Inc.


Under the present recommendations of the Sat49 Business Plan©, the public would be able to receive national network programming via satellite free of charge, with fees assessed only for customary fee-for-watching channels. This plan would spur the saturation of satellite reception by consumers, and speed the implementation of High Density Television transmissions.


In announcing the possible venture, Sat49 President Lawrence Johnston said “Sat49 LLC believes that the merger of EchoStar and DirecTV will not be allowed to occur due to antitrust considerations. For this reason, Sat49 believes that stockholders of GM and GM Class H stock should reject the offer by EchoStar, and proceed with accepting a viable offer. Disney, Viacom, GE, and News Corp should relish this proposal, as its implementation would finally give them control of the delivery of their programming in an economical and superior format. The offer to provide free national and local channels, along with our corporate structure, which prevents any media participant from obtaining majority control, either separately or in combination, should dispel any antitrust concerns. This business venture, if accepted by all six invitees, will deliver HDTV expeditiously and inexpensively. It will revolutionize the way that Americans receive their TV signals and watch TVâ€. For further information, contact Sat49 at www.sat49.com.
 

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Interesting...


"this proposal, as its implementation would finally give THEM control of the delivery of THEIR programming in an economical and superior format. "


Wonder if they would allow 30 skip of commercials? Probably not, but they could permit it and charge us for the priviledge. A charge which could be minimal.


Overall, I do not like the idea of the major networks controling the Satellite TV/PRV business. They could completely control what can be recorded, what networks are available, what commercials are forced upon us, etc. Sounds much worse than anything an Echostar-DirecTV merger would produce.


PS. "High Density TV"?
 

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"... the public would be able to receive national network programming via satellite free of charge, with fees assessed only for customary fee-for-watching channels."


I'm all up for free TV, as long as it's really free (and they don't raise the price of basic / other services to compensate!)
 

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It certainly sounds interesting. Since I'm not eligible for local or national feeds through D*, I look forward to the ability to get locals. If they're free, that is even better. Then I wouldn't need my VCRs for NYPD Blue / ER / Survivor / etc... But I would be concerned if the major networks decided to put something in the data stream that prevented 30 sec skips, or even prevented UTV / Tivo recording from shows as they see fit. Maybe I'm being paranoid, but I would not put it past them.


Sean
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by CSR
...But I would be concerned if the major networks decided to put something in the data stream that prevented 30 sec skips, or even prevented UTV / Tivo recording from shows as they see fit. Maybe I'm being paranoid, but I would not put it past them.
Hey Sean,


Yeah, I'd be concerned too. However, the major networks would most certainly require the cooperation of the PVR manufacturers to accomplish such a goal. Simply sending data through the stream could certainly be ignored by a PVR. A PVR that simply intercepts the video/audio that's sent to one's tv is all that's needed, IMO. I guess we'll have to wait & see what the future holds for us, but I'm confident that "where there's a will, there's a way." Long Live the 30-second Skip Button!
 

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Don't think the courts would let them control what you watched or what you could record.. just a thought there..


Sounds better than the echostar deal to me. no monopoly, no one network using D* to get ahead of the others (e.g. rupert pushing all the fox sports channels if he had bought D*)


but if you look at http://www.sat49.com you see the details:


-200 free channels of network programming (4 national feeds per network (1 per time zone) and 10 others per network for "other affiliates they own" (?))

-140 local affiliates (at most 3 per state! (umm..california is going to allow this? LA, San fran, and what? SanDiego? so i get nothing from sacramento anymore?))


the rest of the cable channels you have to pay for by hooking your box up to a phone line and calling up for a new access code every month. your programming choices get "billed to your phone number" (bringing the phone company in on this or am i reading that wrong?) thus eliminating the possibility of hacking access cards (yea..right..just wait.)


it sounds kind of eutopian if you ask me. they call local affiliates "albatrosses" that need to be replaced with a streamlined new method that will return the networks to their former glory.


well, local affiliates allow local businesses to advertise to local customers, don't they? I don't want to hear about a auto dealer in virginia or a Supermarket in seattle... what happens to those? (not that i watch commercials, but you understand...)


I like the idea better than 1 company of E/D*, but not sure this works totally..need more info.


good idea..work on it.


-Mortt
 

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Lets keep this short and to the point.


KEEP THE NETWORKS OUT OF SATELITE TV!!!!!


CAN YOU SAY M O N O P O L Y!


They will control what we watch, how we watch it, when we watch it, how much it costs, and to top it off, how and if we can record it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




Where can I sign the petition!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Did I miss something in the article? Nowhere did it say that anyone has agreed to do business with Sat49 in this deal. Sat49 is simply proposing it. Not one of the big companies cited have committed to it.


Seems to be a bit of sabre rattling to me..............
 

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sabre rattling?.... somebody please explain this to me....


"...proposed offer would require the financial participation of the parent companies of ABC (Disney), CBS (Viacom), NBC (GE) and Fox (News Corp), who have concurrently been invited to participate in the purchase."
 

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Well, after reading and re-reading the article, I visited the Sat49 website. Nothing of substance available there. I called them. Answering machine, not even voicemail!!!


I then went to each of the listed "partners" in this "venture". Guess what? None of them have any press release tied to this announcement. So, this does not seem to be anywhere in the realm of possibilities.......at least for now.
 

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Certainly, this is a good lever to squeeze more revenues out of local broadcasters by threatening to cut them out of the loop.


However, since the cable companies forced direct-tv to carry all local channels that cable had to carry, so should this venture be forced

to carry all local programming.
 

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dollars mean influence....look at yes vs cablevision on the yankee situation.

Imagine if Charles Dolan owned the yankees or directv. Its bad enough he owns cablevision, MSG sports channel, The New York Knicks etc. etc. If you own everything, you can control price, choice, and freedom.......


I just think its a good idea to keep them out of it....


Sony owns hollywood and makes the equipment that plays and (hopefully) records it. Bad choice... Who knows what we could really have today with technology......Look at the problems with HDTV and fireware vs DVI debate.


I could not wait to get directv and rid myself of the horrible quality and price of cable. I tried air for local channels in 1995.... but there is so much external interference these days... it not like it was when dad used to watch star trek in 1967.
 
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