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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Marketing to VOOM Subs - EchoStar Drops the Ball


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16 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Nick

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Posted 25 April 2005 - 06:15 AM

When VOOM announced it was going dark April 30, the folks at DirecTV immediately announced an attractive offer aimed at soon-to-be orphaned VOOM subscribers, a market potential of somewhat less than 40k subs. It was a day or two later before EchoStar finally responded with its feeble offer to VOOM subs.

This Monday morning (4/25), just a few days after both DirecTV and EchoStar made their 'VOOM' announcements through press releases, I am googling for any news on VOOM, but all I can find is the DirecTV press release, as copied and reported by various news outlets around the country. Google could not find one single news agency that had reprinted the EchoStar news release! The only conclusion I can make from this is that EchoStar's marketing dept. has seriously dropped the ball.

Here are the top-10 results of my Google News advanced search on "voom -va" for the period 4/22 - 4/25: Only VOOM-related findings are shown.

2. DIRECTV Offers VOOM Customers $200 Rebate
eCoustics.com (press release) - Apr 22, 2005
EL SEGUNDO, Calif., April 22, 2005 -- VOOM customers, despairing over the loss of their HD service, which goes dark at the end of this month, have been thrown ...

3. DirecTV Targets Voom Subscribers
Multichannel News (subscription), NY - Apr 22, 2005
DirecTV Inc. said Friday that it will offer a $200 mail-in rebate for Voom subscribers’ HD direct-broadcast satellite equipment. ...

4. VOOM DOOM: DIRECTV Tosses Lifeline to VOOM Customers; Limited Time ...
TMCnet (press release) - Apr 22, 2005
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. --(Business Wire)-- April 22, 2005 -- VOOM customers, despairing over the loss of their HD service, which goes dark at the end of this month ...

5. VOOM DOOM: DIRECTV Tosses Lifeline to VOOM Customers; Limited Time ...
Business Wire (press release), CA - Apr 22, 2005
EL SEGUNDO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 22, 2005--VOOM customers, despairing over the loss of their HD service, which goes dark at the end of this month ...

6. DirecTV Offers Rebate to Voom Customers
CEPro, MA - Apr 22, 2005
04/21/05 - Voom subscribers who switch over to DirecTV will receive a $200 rebate and three months free of DirecTV HD, according to SkyReport.com. ...

Not one single reprint of the EchoStar press release was found - at all - whatsoever!

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#2 OFFLINE   Mikey

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Posted 25 April 2005 - 07:04 AM

Actually, my quick scan of the dishnetwork.com press release web page today didn't turn up ANY press releases concerning VOOM. I looked back several weeks.

#3 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 25 April 2005 - 09:41 AM

E* does not want to add HD customers at this time. The offer for Voom customers is under the radar (even some CSRs don't know about it). Just enough to say that there is an offer.

E* adds 40k customers every 10 days. They don't need to attract whiners who will just complain that there isn't enough HD and complain more when they have to swap out to MPEG4 boxes in less than a year.

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#4 OFFLINE   lazaruspup

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Posted 25 April 2005 - 10:06 AM

Money is money though, and D* is capitalizing...
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#5 OFFLINE   Scott Greczkowski

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Posted 25 April 2005 - 12:48 PM

Dish did issue a press release (Mark Lumpkin recently left the company and the new guy does not know how to do things yet.)

Dish is doing NOTHING special for VOOM customers they are just offering them standard DHA. DirecTV at least is offering a $200 rebate on the HD equipment.

Here is a copy of the press release as I posted it at SatelliteGuys.US

April 21, 2005

CONTACT: Mark Cicero

EchoStar Communications Corp.

720-514-5065


DISH NETWORK GIVES VOOM SUBSCRIBERS HIGH-DEFINITION TV SOLUTION

WHAT: EchoStar Communications Corporation and its DISH Network satellite TV service now offer current VOOM subscribers a high-definition TV solution that includes free next-day installation and six months free of HD programming.

With this program, VOOM customers will get six free months of HD programming and high-definition receivers in up to two rooms at no charge. For a limited time, those who sign up can also receive more than 180 standard definition channels for only $31.99 a month, for the first three months with a one-year agreement.


WHY: VOOM customers have received notification that they will lose their service after April 30.

HOW: For more information on DISH Network, visit www.dishnetwork.com, call 1-800-333-DISH (3474), or contact your local DISH Network retailer. For downloadable, print quality images of DISH Network equipment, installations or the DISH Network logo, visit www.dishnetwork.com/content/aboutus/presskit/print/index.shtml.

WHO: About EchoStar

EchoStar Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH) serves more than 11 million satellite TV customers through its DISH Network™, the fastest growing U.S. provider of advanced digital television services in the last five years. DISH Network offers hundreds of video and audio channels, Interactive TV, HDTV, sports and international programming, together with professional installation and 24-hour customer service. DISH Network ranks No. 1 in Customer Satisfaction among Cable/Satellite TV Subscribers by J.D. Power and Associates. Visit EchoStar's DISH Network at www.dishnetwork.com or call 1-800-333-DISH (3474).


###



#6 OFFLINE   lazaruspup

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Posted 25 April 2005 - 01:51 PM

The problem is that this is the same solution that everyone else can get except with a few minor tweaks. If DISH wants the cash, they need to pony us the offering.
"The grass is always greener on the lawn that is watered twice daily..."

#7 OFFLINE   KingLoop

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Posted 25 April 2005 - 03:02 PM

The problem is that this is the same solution that everyone else can get except with a few minor tweaks. If DISH wants the cash, they need to pony us the offering.

If a soon to be Ex-Voom customer who has 2 HDTVs is looking for DBS service they can choose D* and pay $600 at the door and get a $200 rebate a 4-6 weeks later, and then pay $59/mth for their normal bill for. TC Plus W/O Locals. Or they could get E* pay nothing at the door and pay $63/mth for the first year, for AT180.

If someone wants to test the water it's less expensive to try E*. If they don't like it spend money later W/D*. And if they seem to have liked E* better they can always go to SBC later on.
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#8 OFFLINE   lazaruspup

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Posted 25 April 2005 - 03:41 PM

If someone wants to test the water it's less expensive to try E*. If they don't like it spend money later W/D*. And if they seem to have liked E* better they can always go to SBC later on.


Granted, Voomers might be a little more tepid to jumping into a new system after this fiasco, but I would say that as a whole, the Voom crowd is much more likely to front the cash and get what they want. One thing Voom did do right is customer service and if anyone knows anything about Dish CSR's it is that there is a lack of proper customer support coming from them. I think Voom customers have a great set of choices for them between cable, D*, and E*. However, the overall view here still stands that E* is losing out on a very dedicated customer base that probably have higher ARPU than most D* or E* customers. Therefore, I think that D* is genius for going after them, even if there is only 40,000 or so of them.
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#9 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 25 April 2005 - 05:27 PM

Then again, E* could have the best promotion of all under wraps. So far they have been quiet.

JL

#10 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 25 April 2005 - 05:31 PM

From the numbers I've seen... Dish's non-promotion is about the same as DirecTV's special deal for ex-Voomers... also, since there's less than 50,000 of them AND neither Dish nor DirecTV are going to be able to offer the same HD content they were getting with Voom... it doesn't seem like it is worth a lot of effort from either company.

Many Voom customers were already a Dish or DirecTV customer already for the channels they weren't getting through Voom... so I suspect the folks who were Voom-only are substantially less than the 40-50,000 subscriber number.

#11 OFFLINE   Nick

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Posted 25 April 2005 - 06:56 PM

Subtracting the E* and D* subs out of the VOOM gene pool would surely yield less than 40k VOOM-only subs, not that it matters. :shrug:

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#12 OFFLINE   Richard King

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Posted 25 April 2005 - 07:14 PM

Would that be like weeding out any crossbreeding? :D
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#13 OFFLINE   Nick

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Posted 30 April 2005 - 09:36 AM

Now I understand. We all understand. :whatdidid

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#14 OFFLINE   Tomos

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Posted 30 April 2005 - 10:33 AM

I guess Dish didn't drop the ball after all and actually seems like they rubbed Direct's nose in doodoo to me. :lol:
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#15 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 30 April 2005 - 12:04 PM

Either they:
1) have just worked out the details and couldn't say anything earlier because they were not sure (even though planning went in to making sure Voom was at the E* Team Summit this weekend and rumors of a deal have been flying for a week), or
2) they sandbagged for some odd reason - not wanting to let people know in advance that the 10 channels were coming soon (and the rest later) to E*

It is only 40k subs anyways ... but how many did they lose to D* by putting out an initially weak offer and how many potential customers did they tick off completely by holding out until the last 36 hours of Voom?

They didn't even drop a hint - "trust us, we will work something out" - and actually said the opposite in the last two Charlie Chats. "No new HD coming until MPEG4." And yet in less than 24 hours E* will be adding 10 channels of MPEG2 HD.

They didn't drop the ball. They punted facing the wrong goalposts.

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#16 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 30 April 2005 - 01:24 PM

I thought I remembered Charlie saying on the last chat something about "we might look into that" in response to a question about Voom's original programming.

At the time I took it as the usual waffling... but it could be he was already in negotiations and didn't want to jeopardise anything by going public too soon.

#17 OFFLINE   Richard King

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Posted 30 April 2005 - 01:54 PM

Either they:

Or, as they seem to do every year, they wanted something big to announce at the Dish Summit and this was it. They always want something big to announce at the summit to attract attention to the event and to use the following year to promote the event.
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