|FCC To Nix Echostar DIRECTV Merger|
|Home Theater News Industry-Trade News|
|Written by Scott Selter|
|Thursday, 10 October 2002|
FCC To Nix Echostar DIRECTV Merger
In a recently anticipated move, FCC chairman, Michael Powell moved to block the proposed merger between General Motor’s DIRECTV and No. 2 satellite TV provider Echostar, today at a press conference. The stated reason for blocking the merger was FCC concerns about a potential lack of satellite competition, specifically in rural areas. This is despite reports that cable TV makes up nearly 80 percent of the subscriber base for pay TV in the U.S.
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, owner of Fox and other media ventures, may still be interested in DIRECTV even after losing out to Echostar when the topic of a merger (or acquisition) was first discussed.
AV consumers, fed up with poor quality cable (even digital) were especially hopeful that the merger would go through so that there would be more room on the proposed satellite network which would yield more stations, especially the bandwidth hungry HDTV channels.