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My Merger Thoughts

Discussion in 'General Satellite Discussion' started by Scott Greczkowski, Sep 25, 2002.

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  1. Scott Greczkowski

    Scott Greczkowski Banned User

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    Mar 21, 2002
    There are lots of people going around who are thinking that the merger between DirecTV and Echostar are dead.

    Folks, the merger is not dead until the fat lady sings. So far she is practicing getting ready but she has not sung yet.

    If the DOJ does indeed deny the merger I personally think it will be a bad thing for us the consumers. However if the merger is denied I think that is bad for the consumer because of Echostar.

    Why do I feel that Echostar is to blame? Ever since the merger was announced it seems as though Echostar has put all effort into the merger. Since the merger was announced the number of new channels, new products etc have greatly declined. While on the other hand DirecTV has continued operating adding new channels and features which I feel leave Dish Network behind. During this merger announcement period alls that we have heard is how great the merger is for the customer. What we have no heard is no plan B, which would be put into place if the merger is not approved.

    So if we take Charlie’s words from his past “Charlie Chats” and think about it, does it mean that no more new channels are going to be added? That HDTV is dead? That Broadband not for satellite?

    If the merger is not approved does it basicly mean that DBS is dead? Is that what Charlie is going to tell us on the next chat? I can see it now…

    Caller – “Will Dish Network be adding Trio?”
    Charlie – “No because the government denied our merger plans we do not have the space to add any more channels.”
    Next Caller – “I want to know what plans are to add HD Net”
    Charlie – “When we announced the merger we planned on adding 10 HD channel, but because the merger was denied we do not have the spectrum to add any more HD.”

    (Of course on the same chat they will announce 5 more foreign channels at $19.95 a month per channel, they seem to have spectrum for those channels)

    So the question is, what is Dish Networks plan B if the merger is not approved? Does no merger really kill Dish Network? As a Dish Network subscriber I feel that Dish Network has become stagnant since they announced the plans for the merger.

    Am I the only one who feels disappointed by all of this? Dish should have always had a Plan B for its subscribers, Dish Network should have been operated like there was no merger, after all DirecTV did it, why didn’t they?

    What becomes of DBS if the merger is denied?
     
  2. Poosh

    Poosh Mentor

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    Sep 16, 2002
    For me I'm a fairly new sub of Dish. I am in my last month for my year contract. I came to dish for a few reasons. One I live in a small town in OK about 40,000 and there is only one cable co (cable One) and it sucks horribly. Their rates are high and bad PQ on most channels and didn't have many channels I wanted one main one being Comedy Central. I wanted better quality and more choices. I am able to get the top 100 and locals for less then the basic cable with a digital box. To get to the point I came into dish with high expectations. And most of them were met. At the time of sign up they did not have OKC locals but do now. I think they are number 45 on dma. This was a major major plus and kept my wife satisfied from going back to cable. However over this last year I have watched the Charlie chats and always hear the answer when the merger is approved when the merger is approved. I don't like that. Yeah i think dish is the best option for me here but at the same time you always would like more and new special features. I heard this was common place to add channels and stuff to dish. I haven't seen that really other then Much Music and Speed. I hope that if the merger is denied that they keep coming up with new things and channels. I worry about it because I have invested in this company. I bought my equipment out right and would like to enjoy it for a few years. But already in the last year my cable co yes has raised rates some but upgraded their digital system and channels and have all the channels I would want. Yes they are higher. But I don't have to worry about buying more receivers (which I do now) and new LNB's because I'm moved into a newer and bigger house. I love the idea of dish and I really like it a lot. But with Local Cable Co growing and changing if they keep doing it and Dish keeps saying when the merger happens. The cable co will be far ahead in quality and selection. I think they will loose a lot of people. But i hope they start a plan b. Because I don't really want to leave. But I will go where I have the most options and new stuff.
     
  3. James_F

    James_F Damn you woman! DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Apr 23, 2002
    Well maybe you'd go with DirecTV? It just sounds like sour grapes that Dish customers were sold on the merger and now realize that they might not get even equal service to DirecTV. You are right in the fact Dish has stayed put while DirecTV has added many channels, but competition will make Dish add more channels or lose customers to DirecTV.
     
  4. Poosh

    Poosh Mentor

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    Sep 16, 2002
    James_F I agree completely with you. if the merger for sure doesn't go through and they don't do things to get better I more then likely will change. I will wait till I get a great crazy deal on equipment but I may become a Dtv sub if it keeps up. And for me it isn't really sour grapes because I didn't know what I was getting really coming in. I was just trying it out and at the time they had the better price for what I wanted. Like I said they met my expectations initially. But I also expect them to keep going and exceed my expectations. Now I know the real deal with it and heard more about Dtv If they don't change their ways they may get a new sub. But I'm still semi new at the whole dish game. But have more to go on now to look at my options more carefully this time.
     
  5. Mike123abc

    Mike123abc Hall Of Fame/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    If the merger does not go through, suddenly Dish will find all sorts of capacity. There is no excuse now except the mentality that it is better to hold off on new stuff to keep from having to change too much around in case the merger goes through.

    Dish is in a far better position than DirectTV. Dish has 50 Full CONUS transponders verses DirectTV's 46. Plus Dish has 38 wing satellite transponders that DirectTV does not have. Dish does not have to point to 3 CONUS like direct, they are better off because they only have to point to 2 CONUS (via dish 500) for all 50 of their transponders. Dish currently carries all the international and HDTV on the wing satellites, giving them even more capacity on the CONUS slots.

    Dish has every advantage but they have stopped trying to use the advantages any more since the merger has come up. E7 & E8 are pretty weak satellites compared to DirectTV's spot satellite. In fact the two together probably have the same spot capacity as the single DirectTV one (Direct has 26 spots, E7&8 together have 30 spots).

    Of course you can look at it as Dish has used the merger to catch up to Direct. When E8 gets operational they will be able to compete again with DirectTV
     
  6. drjake

    drjake Legend

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    Jun 12, 2002
    It seems the consensus out there is that the merger will not happen. I don't think the fat lady is even close to singing. First off, the staff recommendation is not gospel. DOJ staff level attorneys tend to be lifer's. Thus, they may predate the current Republican administration. In general, Republican administrations tend to be pro-business. It would not be unprecedented for the administration to ignore the staff recommendation. In fact, staff recommendations are often ignored. Furthermore, it is equally plausible that the DOJ staff is leaking information to force Charlie into giving up something. I think everybody is premature in thinking that the merger won't happen.
     
  7. James_F

    James_F Damn you woman! DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Apr 23, 2002
    Thats wishful thinking. Dish is killing their future holding on to this thing that cable companies won't let them have. Charlie Quixote needs to stop tilting at windmills!
     
  8. jrjcd

    jrjcd Arcane Movie Trivia King DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Apr 23, 2002
    keep in mind that charlie ergen is a compulsive liar and that if the merger doesn't go thru, E* is quite capable ramping up whatever they want to do regardless(and on the other hand, many of the things he promised he would do if the merger happens is only just hot air also, and i am constantly surprised that people just automatically buy into it because he says it-a leopard DOESN'T change his spots)....
     
  9. catman

    catman Godfather

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    Jun 27, 2002
    with locals you pay $41.00 plus $22 for HBO/starz this brings your bill to $63 . That is with Directv . DIsh is $5 more .
     
  10. drjake

    drjake Legend

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    Jun 12, 2002
    My thoughts aren't wishful thinking. I don't support the merger. Nevertheless, I am a lawyer and know how Justice works. Anybody who thinks that staff opposition dooms a merger is naive. The process is far from over, but I still think it is more likely than not that the merger will happen.
     
  11. James_F

    James_F Damn you woman! DBSTalk Gold Club

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    But you assume that the administration supports Echostar. What if they are the reason that its not approved?
     
  12. cnsf

    cnsf Hall Of Fame/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Let's not forget that the Republicans are about the "heartland" and it's the "heartland" consumer that has the most concern about the merger.

    I, for one, hope it will not go through so I can finally switch from Dish to DirecTV without any concerns.....and get the YES Network next year and integrated Tivo instead of the "wonderfully designed" PVR solutions.
     
  13. Karl Foster

    Karl Foster Hall Of Fame

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    Mar 23, 2002
    Not to quibble, but the prices are:

    Total Choice $31.99, w/locals - $37.99
    Total Choice Plus $35.99, w/locals - $39.99

    Premium packages are

    1st - $12
    2nd - $10
    3rd - $9
    4th - $8
    5th - $7

    Total Choice w/locals and HBO/STARZ, your bill would be $60.
     
  14. markh

    markh Hall Of Fame

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    Mar 24, 2002
    Of course they have put effort into the merger, but I don't think E* has stagnated.

    Since the merger was announced they have launched 2 satellites, given WE and IFC their own channels instead of splitting one, added muchMusic, Hallmark, National Geographic, and probably a shopping channel or 2 :).

    Also they introduced the 721 and the 921 is coming.

    As far as pricing, for me AT150 beats TC+. $40.99 and I get TMC-W, TMCX-W, ENCORE-W and the Encore themes. My Dad has D* with TC and Starz, it costs him $43.99. He is mostly interested in the theme channels (Western). When D* reorganized their pricing his cost went up. If you buy a lot of programming then D* is cheaper. I can't convince him of that, all he saw was a $2 increase.

    If the merger doesn't happen, I look for both companies ending up bought or partnering with other companies.
     
  15. Randy_B

    Randy_B Icon/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Back that up with facts and examples of intentional lies please. Except for failing to sell a combined IRD/DVD (thank goodness!!) Ergen has been forthcoming and straight.
     
  16. DarrellP

    DarrellP Hall Of Fame

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    Apr 24, 2002
    They also added Discovery HD. Why would they want to disclose their Plan B anyway? Wouldn't that signify that they are losing? Heck, if I were Charlie, I would keep up the appearance of the merger going through until it didn't then disclose my Plan B. I think it's a smart move on his end.
     
  17. drjake

    drjake Legend

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    Jun 12, 2002
    I don't assume the administration supports Echostar. The fact is, the administration's is pro-business, not pro-heartland. Bush wants less regulation of business operations (as opposed to financial accounting). Stopping the merger will not play well among the powers that be at most big business (excluding cable operations). Those same big corporations and their executives are the biggest donors to the Republican Party. Consequently, as a rule, Republican administrations are very lax in the enforcement of antitrust laws and this administration has done nothing to indicate that it will be different than previous Republican administrations.
     
  18. jeffwtux

    jeffwtux Icon

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    Apr 27, 2002
    Yes they support the pro-business position. However, not much soft money was given to them from the satellite business whereas tons of money from cable lobby is given to the Republicans who have a monopoly to protect. Republicans will never get the majority of the satellite soft money as the satellite industry benefits from more pro-consumer policies than pro-business. The cable industry benefits much more from a pro-business stance thus Republicans will support the wishes of the cable lobby over satellite. This merger is thus dead.
     
  19. Scott Greczkowski

    Scott Greczkowski Banned User

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    Mar 21, 2002
    Ok let me clarify a little more here.

    The way Charlie is playing his cards is that he is telling everyone that he can add anything or improve his service if the merger is not approved.

    Of course with E8 about to come into operation we KNOW this is not true, more bandwidth will be available.

    If the merger is denied then how will Charlie "pull a rabbit out of his hat" to the customers to continue adding and improving things?
     
  20. Randy_B

    Randy_B Icon/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Apr 23, 2002
    In the end, this is not about competition in the satellite market (that's small potatoes right now), this about the bigger market of distribution. The gov't should be concerned about mergers that bring content and distribution into the same HQ. They didn't seem to care about AOL/ TW, why should E*/DTV be threat?
     
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