Dish And DirecTV Figure If XM And Sirius Can Merge…

from the try-try-again dept

You may remember back in 2001 that EchoStar, then owners of the DISH Network, tried to buy DirecTV from then owner Hughes (who was owned by GM at the time). However, after the Justice Department said no to the deal over antitrust concerns, it fell apart. However, the rumors going around are that the two companies (now just DISH Network and DirecTV, sans various parent companies) are thinking about trying again. Apparently, they believe that the regulatory and competitive environment that doomed round 1 wouldn’t happen in round 2. And, of course, this time around, they can point to the fact that the two satellite radio systems, XM and Sirius, were allowed to merge (even if it took a year and a half).

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Companies: directv, dish network

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Comments on “Dish And DirecTV Figure If XM And Sirius Can Merge…”

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14 Comments
Richard says:

Speaking as someone who works at DirecTV, and has friends who work over at Dish, I can tell you this has been going on for awhile. Dish tries to buy DirecTV, DirecTV tries to buy dish, and everytime those asshats over at the FCC step in and say no, it would create a monopoly in satellite television. (Nevermind the fact our major competitors are not other satellite networks, but cable and the telecoms). I’m not sure why they would try again now, but I wish them luck.

moe says:

Not quite the same

The Sat TV and Sat Radio markets isn’t a 1 to 1 comparison.

For radio, no matter where you go in the US (except way out in the boonies) you can get over the air AM and FM broadcasts. You also have home, auto, and portable audio players that have tuners, play CDs, or digital media.

For TV, you can get over the air broadcasts of a few channels. At home, you can get at least one cable company and many places only have one cable provider. At home you can play video content from DVDs but the delay is considerable. Auto and portable video is just beginning to get started but it’s not prevalent – count how many sets of headphones you see compared to people watching video on the go.

I haven’t yet decided exactly where I stand on this issue, but comparing the radio and tv markets as if they were one and the same isn’t correct.

Errant Garnish (profile) says:

Food for thought

XM-Sirius won the anti-trust battle by arguing that satellite radio is a technology, not a market. Merging will not reduce competition but will enable them to compete better with terrestrial radio, MP3 players, and all the other things people listen to or get their news from other than satellite radio.

DTH television is in the same state, especially now that television shows and movies are available for download to a variety of devices that sit comfortably alongside the living room TV (i.e. XBOX, PS3, AppleTV…).. Not to mention that the Telcos have come on strong. DirecTV and Dish don’t just compete with each other, they compete with Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, etc.

Satellite TV is also a technology, not a market. If DirecTV and Dish merged, what would they have a monopoly on? Little steel discs on people’s roofs? The vast majority of consumers have alternatives.

Another issue is the inefficient use of satellite resources with two redundant full-service DTH operators. There are only so many orbital slots available in the sky over North America, and it is redundant (and expensive) to have two satellites both beaming the same stuff. The satellite industry likes a crowded sky because then they can raise transponder fees and sell new technologies like Ka band and MPEG-4 to squeeze out capacity from existing slots, but this raises costs for the consumer.

In today’s competitive landscape, does anyone really believe that a DirecTV/Dish merger would result in higher rates for satellite TV?

Questioner says:

Who really owns these things

I thought NewsCorp owned DirectTV and had for sometime (purchasing Hughs from GM?)? If thats the case then isnt really just NewsCorp also buying Dish (not really any kind of merger of equals)? Do I have the incorrect? Also to XM, I thought ClearChannel owned most of XM as well, no one ever seems to mention that. Is it no longer true?

Ken says:

Say goodbye to competition

Here we go again, big corporations are always looking for ways to increase their bottom line. So why not merge two competitors and eliminate that nasty old competition? Now they can raise their rates and who knows, they may be able to pull off advertizing 75% of the time like FM does now. I guess my CD player will be getting lots more use in the future.

christopher says:

DISH

My favorite experience was the ability to search music videos on YouTube while Jersey Shore was on commercial. The set up was all instruction driven. I hate instructions and will be a last resort but the setup is effortless. If you?re an internet geek like myself, or just a TV junky (or both lol) this is definitely for you! The Logitech Revue with Google TV was a mind altering experiencing when it comes to incorporating TV and internet. Basically Google TV turned the largest TV in my home into a computer. Amazing? To say the least! As an employee as well as being a customer of DISH Network I was pretty blown away when the demonstration took place. All I really wanted to do was find out what the process for purchase was. And of course, not only do you get it for a discounted rate as a DISH subscriber but it’s incorporates everything our HD receivers offers along side internet access. If anyone ever wants more info regarding it you can also get it out at dish.com/google tv. Great new product! ?Christopher DeHerrera/DISH Network LLC

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