Charlie Ergen, Chairman of DISH Network and EchoStar, stated he believes that some sort of merger between his own DISH Network and AT&T’s DirecTV is inevitable.
“Is it one month from now or two years from now? I don’t know,” he said during a conference call with analysts reviewing DISH’s Q2 results.
DISH’s subscriber numbers fell back 6 percent to an overall 11.27 million, of which about 9 million were DTH.
Ergen said there was no intention to abandon its DTH business, noting, “There’s a solid group of people in rural America and small businesses. We don’t see that going away.”
Past suggestions that some sort of merger would be sensible have fallen foul of potential anti-trust anxieties. However, these days, with broadband increasingly available and the proliferation of streaming services, the consumer has a far wider choice of entertainment.
In additional news, Dan Jablonsky, President/CEO of Maxar Technologies, buoyed by a healthy share price and extremely strong Q2 results, told analysts that one of his priorities was to “expand margins.”
Jablonsky said that while he did not rule out supplying Ottawa-based Telesat with its LEO satellites, Maxar did not want the market to think they were in deep throes [of the bid].
“Telesat has been a longtime customer of ours,” said Jablonsky. “We built a lot of Geostationary satellites for them. If and when they need us, either for that or for the Telesat LEO programme as it may morph in the future, we’re very happy to provide services. So it’s potential upside in the future, but I wouldn’t say it is something we’ve modeled into the guidance we’ve given long-term.”
Maxar and other potential suppliers have been expecting Telesat to place its orders for some time. Jablonsky told analysts: “What I’d say right now is, it’s kind of every quarter, it’s been the next quarter. In its current form, we’re not expecting active participation. We’re happy to help the customer if their expectations or timing change.”
As to its Q2 numbers, Colorado-based Maxar saw growth in all of the company’s key divisions, a net income of $306 million and an order backlog of $1.9 billion and up $300 million on Q1. The Telesat LEO order is widely reported to be worth a total of some $3 billion.
Then there’s this… 1Sat Telecomunicaçoes has launched BluTV, a new Direct to Home broadcast platform dedicated to the Brazilian market, leveraging the coverage of Eutelsat Communications’ EUTELSAT 65 West A satellite.
BluTV’s basic offer will include more than 100 channels of films, series, sports, lifestyle, culture and news, broadcast in a mix of standard and high definition.
Commenting on the launch, Stephane Frappat, President of BluTV, said, “The potential market in Brazil for payTV is still huge, mostly limited by the high cost of access. BluTV’s promise is to democratise access to high-quality TV entertainment and education combined with the highest standard of customer service at to the Brazilian middle-class. Since its inception, the BluTV project has been supported by Eutelsat teams in Paris and in Brazil, and we are confident the EUTELSAT 65 West A will allow us to offer our future subscribers the best available coverage in the country.”
Philippe Oliva, the CCO at Eutelsat, added, “We are delighted to accompany BluTV as it launches its offer in the Brazilian market. With its high-powered transponders dedicated to covering the entire territory, EUTELSAT 65 West A is the obvious conduit enabling BluTV to reach the widest possible audience to this dynamic broadcast market.”
News stories authored by journalist Chris Forrester,
who posts for the Advanced Television infosite
and is a Senior Contributor for Satnews Publishers.