Skeptical on the DISH, DirecTV Merger

July 20, 2006

direcdishYou may have seen reports about a possible merger between DirecTV and DISH Network and while the financial analysts seem to be keen on the idea, (many analyst are upgrading DISH to buy status from sell) I have doubts the FCC would approve it and don’t think the consumer would necessarily benefit in the long run.

Subscribers to either DISH or DirecTV know full well that neither provider has given HD programming the attention it fully deserves. (Although I will admit DISH, has made significant advancements of late) Many would assume that a merger would immediately bring the ‘other guys’ HD offerings into the fold, and well I just don’t know of a polite way to say. don’t hold you breath on this one.

Even if such a merger were to take place, it would take quite a bit of retrofitting to bring the new subscribers up to full speed on all the programming offered by the merged services. DISH and DirecTV’s satellites do share some common line-of-sights but not all. At the very minimum we’re talking about new LNB’s and or the re-aiming of satellite dishes. I don’t even want to speculate as to what kind of receiver changes would be necessary.

Alternatively one could speculate that DirecTV could simply up-link DISH’s programming to their sat’s and vice-versa but this begs the question, if this is a simple matter of programming, why bother with the merger in the first place?

It’s my understanding that any merger would make use of the other side’s hardware to gain more coverage and bandwidth and not to just regurgitate content. Content that’s by and large already available to both providers.

To be quite honest I’m against any such merger (long shot as it may be) and I’ll probably mount an aggressive campaign against it, should it appear to move forward. Trust me; we WANT these guys competing against each other. One provider would stifle competition and its two most important by-products, development of new services and the refinement of existing ones.

Satellite subscribers by and large remain Satellite Subscribers and typically don’t view cable TV as a viable alternative, they may switch back and forth between sat providers but rarely come back to sat after leaving it altogether. So the argument that cable would still provide the new sat-monopoly competition would dissolve after that first defection.

I didn’t mean to get off into a big tangent about competition and the free market, but that’s the gist of my argument here. I just don’t see that as a positive for current or future subscribers. But I’m completely open to hearing both sides of the argument



Posted by Bryan Greenway | | Filed Under DirecTV News, Dish Network News


Comments

  • digital dish

    I never did have much belief that a DIRECTV -DISH Network merger would ever go through. The FCC basically said that such a union would constitute a monopoly and I agree with. Besides I feel it is better for the television viewing public to have more of a choice in who their satellite TV providers are.

  • digital dish

    I never did have much belief that a DIRECTV -DISH Network merger would ever go through. The FCC basically said that such a union would constitute a monopoly and I agree with. Besides I feel it is better for the television viewing public to have more of a choice in who their satellite TV providers are.

  • Josh

    I see what the article is saying. However, I thought the deal was rejected by the DOJ b/c of the people living in the middle of nowhere (no cable available) would only have one choice for TV. I don’t see how this has changed. I’m not against this, BTW. The phone companies were a monopoly forever.

  • Josh

    I see what the article is saying. However, I thought the deal was rejected by the DOJ b/c of the people living in the middle of nowhere (no cable available) would only have one choice for TV. I don’t see how this has changed. I’m not against this, BTW. The phone companies were a monopoly forever.

  • B.Greenway

    http://informitv.com/articles/2006/07/24/directvandechostar/index.shtml

    Explains a bit more about the feasibility of this

  • B.Greenway

    http://informitv.com/articles/2006/07/24/directvandechostar/index.shtml

    Explains a bit more about the feasibility of this

  • B.Greenway

    Exactly Josh,

    But what I’m gathering on this so far is that they (DISH and DirecTV) seem to think that something has shifted or fell into place that might allow for it. I just don’t see it happening though.

  • B.Greenway

    Exactly Josh,

    But what I’m gathering on this so far is that they (DISH and DirecTV) seem to think that something has shifted or fell into place that might allow for it. I just don’t see it happening though.

  • Josh

    Why do they think this will go through now? The DOJ blocked a proposed merger between the two just a few years ago.

  • Josh

    Why do they think this will go through now? The DOJ blocked a proposed merger between the two just a few years ago.

  • Kevin

    I definitely agree with you here – removing competition isn’t good for the consumers. Take a look at DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket – if that was available on Dish or cable I probably wouldn’t cost $280 ($380 if you want HD).

  • Kevin

    I definitely agree with you here – removing competition isn’t good for the consumers. Take a look at DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket – if that was available on Dish or cable I probably wouldn’t cost $280 ($380 if you want HD).