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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Directv CEO Says Possible Merger with Dish "Could Be Pro-Consumer"


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#1 OFFLINE   DMRI2006

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 09:11 AM

Interesting?? (Bold is my emphasis):

DirecTV CEO Michael White kept the ember of this long-standing idea burning this morning at the Goldman Sachs Annual Communicopia Conference. “Consolidation could be pro-consumer, perhaps,” he told investors citing, among other things, the soaring programming costs for DirecTV and other pay TV providers.

White’s not the only person who likes the idea of a DirecTV-Dish combination. “A merger would be great news for both DirecTV and Dish Network” — although the cost savings they’d find “would have to be shared with customers” — Bernstein Research’s Craig Moffett says this morning. The big question is whether a deal might pass muster with the FCC and antitrust officials. If Mitt Romney’s in the White House then “we’ll bet on a formally proposed merger within a year,” Moffett says. But even if President Obama is re-elected “we’ll bet they try it before four years are out.”


Full article here:
http://www.deadline....er-possibility/

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#2 OFFLINE   Carl Spock

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 09:16 AM

Pro-consumer in terms of lowering costs? Since when did making a monopoly lower prices? Anybody in the financial department of DirecTV take Econ 101 in college?

It's competition that lowers costs.

It's monopolies that maximize profit.

Yeah, a merger would be great for DirecTV, but pro-consumer? Is he joking?
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#3 OFFLINE   TJNash

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 09:24 AM

Pro-consumer in terms of lowering costs? Since when did making a monopoly lower prices? Anybody in the financial department of DirecTV take Econ 101 in college?

It's competition that lowers costs.

It's monopolies that maximize profit.

Yeah, a merger would be great for DirecTV, but pro-consumer? Is he joking?


It will be pro-consumer for those consumers who are DirecTV shareholders. :lol:

Longtime XM subs who lived through the Sirius "merger" can tell you how well that worked out for the consumer.

#4 OFFLINE   Carl Spock

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 09:28 AM

Longtime XM subs who lived through the Sirius "merger" can tell you how well that worked out for the consumer.

As a guy who subscribed to XM before Sirius even existed, don't remind me. :nono2:

I'd have to go dig out old credit card statements to get the accurate figures but my memory says my satellite radio costs have more than doubled since I originally subscribed. Maybe they have tripled.

And for essentially the same programming although now I get Howard Stern. I've never liked Howard Stern.
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#5 OFFLINE   DMRI2006

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 09:28 AM

Longtime XM subs who lived through the Sirius "merger" can tell you how well that worked out for the consumer.


Exactly... :(

#6 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 09:28 AM

This song is a classic, and heard now for many years.

Hopefully nobody is holding their breath.
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#7 OFFLINE   jimmie57

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 09:33 AM

They blocked AT&T from buying T-Mobile and they will block this also for the same reasons.
Cutting down options for the consumer is most of the time a bad deal for us consumers.

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#8 OFFLINE   maartena

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 09:36 AM

It really wouldn't be pro-consumer for at least a decade. See the Sirius and XM merger, they only came out with a radio that could receive ALL stations from BOTH sets of satellites this year, and they have been merged for 3+ years. And that is a car antenna, not a dish that needs to be specifically pointed to a certain arc.

Customers won't be seeing any advantages until contracts start to be re-negotiated at best, and Dish customers still won't be seeing NFL Sunday Ticket any time soon.

The only advantage I see here is that when negotiating contracts, they will have 34 million customers as leverage.
[Disclaimer] The definition of "soon" is based solely on DirecTV's interpretation of the word, and all similarities with dictionary definitions of the word "soon" are purely coincidental and should not be interpreted as a time frame that will come to pass within a reasonable amount of time.

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#9 OFFLINE   fleckrj

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 10:00 AM

The only advantage I see here is that when negotiating contracts, they will have 34 million customers as leverage.


And when there is a carriage dispute, there will be 34 million upset customers, many of whom will have no other alternative. At least now, everyone who wants AMC, the Big 10 Network or ST has the option of switching to DirecTV, and everyone who wants the PAC 12 network has the option of switching to Dish.

The only advantage I see of a merger is that there are a finite number of CONUS orbital slots and a finite number of transponders that can be parked in those slots. Reducing the duplication of what is being transmitted from those slots could open up more possibilities, but it will take many years before duplicates can be turned off because of the cost of replacing the existing equipment. How long has SD and HD been duplicated, and how many more years will SD be around. I cannot see a merged DirecTV/Dish suddenly replacing everyone's receivers and dishes so that satellite space can be freed up to offer more programing.

#10 OFFLINE   Hoosier205

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 10:01 AM

So long as Dish is swallowed whole and the DirecTV way of business is maintained and HD picture quality is still valued...I have no problem with it.
DTV = Digital Television

#11 ONLINE   PCampbell

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 10:09 AM

It would be bad for people thad dont live in big citys, Ditrctv and dish are the only options in some places.

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#12 ONLINE   Go Beavs

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 10:13 AM

This would be good:

  • Maximize satellite bandwidth. Think of all the channels we could have or the resolution possible.
  • Lots of leverage during contract negotiations.

It would be bad:

  • No choice for rural subs who have no access to cable.
  • Probably no affect on prices.

IMHO, competition is a good thing. The more choices, the better off consumers are.

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#13 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 10:23 AM

Personally I would hate it. I cannot see the dish satellites. I can see the small arc directv has emphasized.
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#14 OFFLINE   zimm7778

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 10:48 AM

Really? This again? They blocked it in 2002/2003. Why would things be any different now?

#15 OFFLINE   LCDSpazz

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 10:49 AM

Wasn't this attempted and blocked like 10 years ago? I guess you could argue there's slightly more competitors now like uverse in some markets, but it's pretty much the same competitive landscape.

#16 OFFLINE   maartena

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 11:06 AM

Really? This again? They blocked it in 2002/2003. Why would things be any different now?


Because since then, the following things have happened:

- They allowed the Sirius/XM Merger. This is the most compelling evidence that the FCC and other authorities do not mind a merger that creates a 100% monopoly in 1 service type, in this case satellite radio. Where with DirecTV/Dish, you can at least get 80% or so of offering through cable or telco's - and in some instances more than DBS - you cannot do that with Satellite Radio, especially not in your car.

- They allowed the SBC/AT&T Merger. Not that this directly compares to a Dish/DirecTV merger, but it is an example of how the FCC and other government bodies are becoming a little more lenient in big companies merging in to a huge company. Additionally, of course, AT&T was split up in the 80ties, and this was seen as a first step to bring back the Big Bell.

- Media content/station owners have been asking MUCH higher increases in carriage fees to try and offset their loss of advertising income over the last 3 years or so, resulting in a number of carriage disputes. A merger would give them a lot more leverage to bring price-per-subscriber carriage fees down.


In short: The market has significantly shifted in 10 years. There is a lot more chances of a merger happening in CURRENT market conditions than there was 10 years ago.

I'm still not convinced though. Sirius/XM was held to no price increases for 3 years (I think), but they managed to add other fees and raise existing fees outside of the regular price, so they still managed to squeeze more money out of customers by utilizing sneaky ways around what was on paper. I can see DirecTV/Dish doing the same. Sure the price will stay the same for 5 years, we promise.... oh by the way, your equipment fee is going up from $6 to $8 and your DVR fee is going up from $10 to $15. But our main package price will stay the same as promised. :D
[Disclaimer] The definition of "soon" is based solely on DirecTV's interpretation of the word, and all similarities with dictionary definitions of the word "soon" are purely coincidental and should not be interpreted as a time frame that will come to pass within a reasonable amount of time.

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#17 OFFLINE   HoTat2

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 11:19 AM

This would be good:

  • Maximize satellite bandwidth. Think of all the channels we could have or the resolution possible. ...


I'm curious as to how this would work and be both technically practical and aesthetically pleasing for the customer.

A small DTH dish that covers 9 or more satellite positions? :eek2:

#18 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 11:22 AM

I'm curious as to how this would work and be both technically practical and aesthetically pleasing for the customer.

A small DTH dish that covers 9 or more satellite positions? :eek2:

Agree.

There would have to be a number of significant technology and infrastructure changes to even make that work.
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#19 OFFLINE   zimm7778

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 11:27 AM

Because since then, the following things have happened:

- They allowed the Sirius/XM Merger. This is the most compelling evidence that the FCC and other authorities do not mind a merger that creates a 100% monopoly in 1 service type, in this case satellite radio. Where with DirecTV/Dish, you can at least get 80% or so of offering through cable or telco's - and in some instances more than DBS - you cannot do that with Satellite Radio, especially not in your car.

- They allowed the SBC/AT&T Merger. Not that this directly compares to a Dish/DirecTV merger, but it is an example of how the FCC and other government bodies are becoming a little more lenient in big companies merging in to a huge company. Additionally, of course, AT&T was split up in the 80ties, and this was seen as a first step to bring back the Big Bell.

- Media content/station owners have been asking MUCH higher increases in carriage fees to try and offset their loss of advertising income over the last 3 years or so, resulting in a number of carriage disputes. A merger would give them a lot more leverage to bring price-per-subscriber carriage fees down.


In short: The market has significantly shifted in 10 years. There is a lot more chances of a merger happening in CURRENT market conditions than there was 10 years ago.

I'm still not convinced though. Sirius/XM was held to no price increases for 3 years (I think), but they managed to add other fees and raise existing fees outside of the regular price, so they still managed to squeeze more money out of customers by utilizing sneaky ways around what was on paper. I can see DirecTV/Dish doing the same. Sure the price will stay the same for 5 years, we promise.... oh by the way, your equipment fee is going up from $6 to $8 and your DVR fee is going up from $10 to $15. But our main package price will stay the same as promised. :D


Heres where I disagree and don't see how they can. IIRC, the justification for not allowing the merger to go through last time was in large part over rural areas and the lack of competition those areas had along with the fact that Ergen and co. wouldn't put forth a legitimate explanation of how this wouldn't harm those subs. In that vein, nothing much has changed. I sincerely doubt cable and FIOS have reached those areas in the last 10 years. There are no real viable alternatives to a TV signal that have become available.

SXM, while I do not like what it has become I felt like legally they should be allowed to merge. It was am emerging technology that wasn't RELIED UPON by millions of people and a monopoly could really do damage. There were and are too many other ways to get live radio service. Broadcast, apps, internet streams, etc. TV still doesn't have this in that form yet.

Same for the phone. The court broke up AT&T in 1984, right? Well, there were so many other ways for people to communicate with a phone that it was no longer deemed a monopoly.

So, I still don't think this merger should be nor will be approved.

#20 OFFLINE   Carl Spock

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 11:30 AM

There would have to be a number of significant technology and infrastructure changes to even make that work.

If the Sirius/XM merger proved to be a model, initially both companies' technology would be kept running, independent and separate. The company would be rebranded with a common name but you'd either get your programming from Dish's or DirecTV's set of satellites (the Sirius and XM satellites are in two incompatible orbits).

Eventually, you'd go down to one set of satellites and one system of transmission. In the Sirius/XM situation, they have chosen to go with XM's satellites. That transition hasn't happened yet.

To integrate two disparate technologies together would be mind boggling hard. It would be better to go down to one standard.
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