Charlie Says Merger Not out of the question.

Scott Greczkowski

Scott Greczkowski

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EchoStar may need partner down road
Comcast-Disney union could compel change, Ergen says
By Kris Hudson
Denver Post Business Writer

Read the entire article at http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36%257E33%257E1997143,00.html

Friday, March 05, 2004 -


WASHINGTON - EchoStar Communications Corp. chairman Charlie Ergen said Thursday that his company may have no choice but to consider a merger or acquisition if Comcast Corp. successfully engulfs the Walt Disney Co. "In that scenario, someone either writes me a check and I'm down the road or I write somebody a check," Ergen said, speaking at a luncheon sponsored by the Progress and Freedom Foundation, a free-market think tank. "I hope it doesn't come to that, but it might."

Ergen's Douglas County-based EchoStar, which serves 9 million satellite-television subscribers under the Dish Network brand, is becoming a smaller player in a rapidly consolidating media industry.

EchoStar's chief rival, DirecTV, was gobbled up recently by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., one of the world's major movie and television programming companies. Comcast, the nation's largest cable company, is gunning for Disney, which owns movie studios and television channels such as ESPN.

EchoStar has struck no programming deals beyond a since-dissolved 2002 deal with Vivendi Universal. Ergen, Colorado's richest person with a $9.1 billion net worth as estimated by Forbes magazine, indicated that no deal for the company he founded is imminent.

"I think about it all the time," he said. "I just don't have any answers."

Disney's board Wednesday reiterated its rejection of Comcast's acquisition bid. Ergen indicated Thursday that he might lobby against federal approval of the deal, if it gets that far. Murdoch did the same to Ergen, helping undermine EchoStar's attempt to buy DirecTV in 2002.

"I'm sure I'll have lots of lawyers who will call me up and try to sell me their services to oppose it," Ergen said. "And it's just hard to turn down a good attorney when he has a good idea."

In 1997, Ergen and Murdoch proposed joining forces in a satellite TV merger that fell apart within months.

Some analysts see EchoStar needing a programming partner if Comcast snares Disney.

"I think the financial community believes (EchoStar) is going to need a content partner sooner than later," said Rudy Baca, a Precursor Group analyst who attended Thursday's luncheon. "But they're willing to give some time to wait and watch."

Read the rest at http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36%257E33%257E1997143,00.html
 
Scott Greczkowski

Scott Greczkowski

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I wonder what changed Charlies mind in the last 2 weeks, if you remember correctly there was a Wall Street Journal article a few weeks ago where Charlie said he had no intention to sell out.
 
bcshields

bcshields

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I believe that "no intention" was bull. He's showing so many signs of takeover bait it's obvious. Why do you think there's an equipment shortage? He needs the numbers to look low, for example.
 
B

bpasker8

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maybe VOOM will but out Echostar, then we'd have more HD channels :) Our luck WWE will buy them out and we'll be stuck with Hulk Hogan doing the Bingo channel
 
dlsnyder

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A merger with NBC/Universal would be just as good a match if not better than one with Disney. Disney is in alot of turmoil right now and it might be difficult for them to swallow another company. Although NBC and Universal just completed their merger it seems to me like there is more potential there for approval at least since they don't own as many of the really high profile cable networks. Their biggest assets are in production and broadcast distribution.
 
bcshields

bcshields

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Hmmm.... sorry, you got me thinking of that Bingo TV blonde at ringside in a WWE outfit.

A Voom-Cablevision/Echostar merger would be beneficial for HDTV programming... I don't know if they'd have enough combined power to compete with Disney/Comcast (just think about the ESPN rates after Comcast gets ahold of them).. but it does look like a viable option. Hmm...
 
AcuraCL

AcuraCL

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Personally, I'm thinking ... Microsoft. They made an initial investment several years ago.

No chance of antitrust blockage. Not much diff than an AOL-TimeWarner type of merge.

Now, will this drive up my stock price, or kill it?
 
dlsnyder

dlsnyder

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A buyout by Microsoft would only throw more money at Echostar's existing problem - lack of content production. Microsoft is already in a joint venture with NBC for both internet and cable news production but that is fairly limited. E* really needs to hook up with a major content producer that currently has no cable or satellite distribution holdings. How about Sony? They own Columbia Pictures and produce consumer electronics. There could definately be some synergy there! :D
 
Scott Greczkowski

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Even though they are fighting now, I have always said that Viacom would be a good partner for Echostar.
 
mike123abc

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I think that Disney would be a great match for Dish. Perhaps Disney could even help the customer service.

Viacom would not be bad either, they certainly have enough pull to get things done.

GE/NBC would be a harder fit, GE tends to only like the #1 company in a field.
 
Geronimo

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I think that most people would call NBC the lno.1 network.
 
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lonewolfe

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Disney, Echostar would be great. Just think of Goofy as a CSR. Oh wait he is already hired. I talk to him every time I call. Echostar really needs to do something. If Comcast gets Disney I think it will really hurt all DBS companies. Just because of ESPN.
 
gpflepsen

gpflepsen

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mike123abc said:
I think that Disney would be a great match for Dish. Perhaps Disney could even help the customer service.

...and let the Mickey Mouse CSR references flow...
 
bcshields

bcshields

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gpflepsen said:
...and let the Mickey Mouse CSR references flow...

Why not, some of the customers sound like Donald Duck when he loses his temper.
 
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Mr Tony

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bpasker8 said:
Our luck WWE will buy them out and we'll be stuck with Hulk Hogan doing the Bingo channel

Whatcha gonna do brother, when Hulk Hogan and the 24" pythons draw Bingo balls for you??????????????????????

I highly doubt Vince McMahon would by Echostar....although...

On Dish FYI.....Stone Cold Steve Austin & Trish Stratus showing you how to use your remote...actually I'd like to see that.
..and those Dish local commercials will have Brock Lesner showing you how to order PPV
..or Rikishi telling you how to sign up for CC Autopay

That would be funny.
 
dlsnyder

dlsnyder

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The few times I have had to deal with customer service within Disney I have always had a pleasant experience. Oddly this is one area where perhaps Echostar would be helped the most by a merger with Disney.
 
beast37799

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Iceberg said:
Whatcha gonna do brother, when Hulk Hogan and the 24" pythons draw Bingo balls for you??????????????????????

I highly doubt Vince McMahon would by Echostar....although...

On Dish FYI.....Stone Cold Steve Austin & Trish Stratus showing you how to use your remote...actually I'd like to see that.
..and those Dish local commercials will have Brock Lesner showing you how to order PPV
..or Rikishi telling you how to sign up for CC Autopay

That would be funny.
u forgot John Cena ripping on cable companys
 

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