Dish talks up DirecTV merger
A few weeks ago DirecTV bosses talked about merging with rival pay-TV operator Dish Network. Now Dish Network chairman Charlie Ergen has said that the two companies should consider coming together in order to address a slowing pay-TV market.
Ergen told analysts during his post-results conference call that both companies “have to consider” a merger because of the lack of growth remaining in the US pay-video business. However, he also told callers that no deal discussions had taken place.
Dish Network lost 19,000 subs in its Q3, while DirecTV saw smaller net gains (67,000) than the market had expected.
The NASDAQ market enjoyed the news, and marked Dish Network up 3.6 percent on the day to $36 a share. DirecTV’s stock price fell back slightly on the news by 15c.
Dish Network and DirecTV attempted a merger back in 2002 although that plan was scuppered by regulators on competition grounds. Today’s video market, with digital cable, telco-based services as well as the Netflix and Hulu-type services, is a very different place and the general consensus is that regulators would look more favourably on a merger.