I'm still feeling the merger will eventually be done by the two "giving up" certain things. (see other posts as to what could be negotiated)
But if not, I am convinced in the end we lose. It's not that I dismiss the truly good arguments against it. But in the end, you have to think that the cost of each to continue to compete with cable will have us paying quite abit more. Wether you llike the idea or not, locals being provided is an absolute must. You are fooling yourself if you think most people will be willing to switch between an antenna and the dish to watch tv, or to even have an antenna. Next it will be a must to provide an HD signal for each city networks, or other networks (HBO, Discovery,ESPN etc. someday) . And on and on. If each provider has to duplicate the signals, cable will win out in the end. Cost will win out with most consumers even with the horrendous track record of Cable. If satellite cannot give as good or better progamming, and costs the same or more as cable, then we lose. I don't see where the DBS providers can become niche orientated, they must have broad appeal to keep up with costs. Now I am not fully versed on what other situations exist to accomplish the same thing as this particular merger, i.e perhaps there are other alliances that can be made, but I don't see how the two can continue totally separate and succeed, unless some new technology comes along improving bandwidth availability with existing equipment.