Dish CEO: DirecTV Merger Possible

Deal speculation, lawsuits and personnel moves dominate today's cable news roundup.

  • DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) and Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) may have a better shot at winning approval for a merger in this day and age after failing to combine in 2002, new Dish CEO Joseph Clayton told Bloomberg. Last week, Lauder Partners Managing Director Gary Lauder predicted that the Department of Justice will eventually allow the DBS firms to merge, which he said would spark a wave of consolidation among the major cable MSOs. (See Dish Names President and CEO.)

  • Producers of The Hurt Locker are pressing broadband providers to give up the names of 25,000 subscribers accused of illegally downloading the movie via BitTorrent Inc. , including 10,532 Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) customers.

  • Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) Founder Chuck Dolan invested $5 million in Crimson Hexagon, a social media market research firm founded by former top Cablevision marketer Patricia Gottesman.

  • Spirit Broadband makes some unusual claims in a lawsuit the Tennessee cable company filed against DirecTV, alleging that the satellite TV giant falsely advertised that Spirit was going out of business and that its president skipped town for Mexico with $5 million.

  • Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: SEC) surpassed 5 million app downloads for broadband-connected Smart TVs and some of its Blu-ray players, with YouTube Inc. as the most popular app. Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) are in line to join the Smart TV lineup later this year. (See Comcast Connecting to Samsung TVs by Xmas .)

  • Mexico's second-largest MSO, Cablemás , will spark its IP video migration using Conax AS security and hybrid boxes and DVRs from Evolution Digital LLC that handle both QAM and IP video. (See Cablemás Says 'Si' to Evolution & Conax.)

  • Cablevision is the only pay-TV distributor carrying Fight Now TV, a 24-hour combat sports channel that debuted this morning.

  • Look for Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) to shop for more sports TV rights, after the MSO named former Creative Artists, Fox Sports, and Disney executive David Rone as president of sports.

  • TWC is reportedly close to hiring XL Group PLC exec Irene Esteves as the MSO's new CFO.

    — Steve Donohue, Special to Light Reading Cable, and Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

  • SteveDonohue 12/5/2012 | 5:04:30 PM
    re: Dish CEO: DirecTV Merger Possible

    It's a good bet that DirecTV and Dish could win approval for a merger. The companies could point to the stiff competition they both face from cable MSOs, telcos and Internet video providers. The biggest challenge may be convincing regulators that subscribers in rural areas where satellite is the only pay TV option wouldn't be hurt. 


    Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 5:04:28 PM
    re: Dish CEO: DirecTV Merger Possible

    There's an even simpler reason why the merger would happen: Because if AT&T gets approved to acquire T-Mobile, you know the FCC would approve Dish/DirecTV.  (Which is basically what the Bloomberg story said, iirc).  Cynical but true. 

    AliexRaultz 12/5/2012 | 4:54:50 PM
    re: Dish CEO: DirecTV Merger Possible

    Both Dish and Direct TV have the same satellite tv packages. I'm excited of what would be the outcome of the merge of this two companies. I hope it would be the good and satisfaction of all thier customers.

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