Ergen: A merger “makes sense”.

Charlie Ergen, in a conference call with analysts, happily confirmed that a much-talked about potential merger between his flat-lining pay-TV broadcaster DISh and rival DirecTV as making sense.

“There’s no question that putting DISH and DirecTV together makes a lot of sense,” Ergen said Tuesday on DISH’s second quarter earnings call with analysts and reporters. “We would certainly look at DirecTV, and putting Dish and DirecTV together.” He added that a merger made a lot of sense strategically, and said he did not see the sort of objections coming from the regulators the way a similar proposal did in 2002.  “Clearly it’s a different environment from a regulatory point of view,” Ergen said, adding later: “The marketplace is probably fairly attractive for the consolidation of the video business.”

“You have a general momentum, a gravity toward consolidation because programming rates are going up four times the rate of inflation,” said Ergen.

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