The Hidden Message Behind EchoStar's Potential Marriage To AT&T: U-Verse Sucks And Satellite TV Is Dying
from the gotta-make-the-deals-now dept
As for AT&T, initially, I would say that it's a bad deal, but that might not necessarily be the case due to its own problems elsewhere. AT&T flirted with buying DirecTV in 2003 and EchoStar in 2005. The company did invest in EchoStar, and already offers a bundled package. However, as we pointed out during the original EchoStar rumors, the combination doesn't seem to make much sense. If AT&T is really pushing for a triple play offering, they should focus on doing that all through a single pipe (as with its U-Verse offering), rather than getting tied up with the limitations of satellite. So why would it make sense? If AT&T's U-verse plans aren't going particularly well. In such a case, AT&T could buy EchoStar to get its hands on all of the pay-TV customers and hope that those customers can easily be transferred over to IPTV when AT&T finally figures out how to offer it more broadly. It would be about buying customers, not technology (the good technology would stay with Ergen anyway), squeezing some life out of the legacy satellite business and then casting it off and transferring everyone over to fiber. At least, that's the only way the plan makes any sense -- and it would still require AT&T be able to successfully convert DISH customers to U-Verse, which may not be particularly easy.