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A Nevada man and his new company are approaching the nation's top broadcasters with a proposal to bid on the Hughes and DirecTV assets being sought by EchoStar.

Lawrence Johnston of Reno, president of newly-formed Sat49, said he sent packages to the big four networks and their parent companies outlining his proposed "back-up bid" for the Hughes/DirecTV assets on Tuesday. Johnston said he hasn't heard from the broadcast nets about his invite, saying, "I'm sure they haven't had a chance to look at the details. Maybe within a few weeks they will respond."

How serious anybody takes Johnston and his ideas isn't a big deal for the self-described devoted satellite TV subscriber. "It's just a proposal," he said. "If anything, part of this is to generate dialogue about what we can do for consumers and how to make satellite the delivery method for TV for all Americans."

Johnston, who announced his one-man bid Tuesday, said the proposed $26 billion DBS merger is doomed. In a statement, he said, "Sat49 believes that the merger of EchoStar and DirecTV will not be allowed to occur due to antitrust considerations. For this reason, Sat49 believes that stockholders of GM and GM Class H stock should reject the offer by EchoStar, and proceed with accepting a viable offer.

"Disney (parent of ABC), Viacom (parent of CBS), GE (parent of NBC), and News Corp. (which controls FOX) should relish this proposal, as its implementation would finally give them control of the delivery of their programming in an economical and superior format," Johnston said.

Broadcast networks contacted by SkyREPORT had no immediate response to the Sat49 invitation. One said they were aware of the Sat49 announcement, but had no comment on the news.

From SkyReport (Used with Permission)
 
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