- Sep 8, 2003
From our friends at SkyReport.com
Concerns about News Corp.'s pending takeover of DirecTV and Hughes surfaced from Digital Broadband Applications Corp. (DBAC), which has permission to use Canadian DBS capacity for a competitive U.S. satellite TV service. The company's comments on the deal have put a spotlight on the U.S. satellite TV service's moves among DBS orbital locations.
According to documents at the Federal Communications Commission, DirecTV has made the move to temporarily place its DirecTV 3 satellite at 82 degrees to support Telesat's DBS operations at the orbital location. Telesat operates the Nimiq 2 DBS satellite at the location for Canadian satellite TV service Bell ExpressVu, a spacecraft that experienced some anomalies while in orbit.
In May, DBAC received authorization to utilize the Nimiq capacity to deliver services into the United States. In its comments on the News Corp./DirecTV deal, DBAC said the FCC should carefully consider the competitive affects of relocating DirecTV 3 given the pending transaction.
DBAC said if the request is granted "DirecTV, and especially post-News Corp. merger DirecTV, may be in a position to wield significant influence over access by any potential competitor to the Canadian BSS slots allocated to Telesat."
In its comments, DBAC asked the FCC to place a condition on the News Corp./DirecTV transaction saying the satellite TV company cannot enter into agreements with Telesat for use of capacity aboard the DirecTV satellite moving to the Canadian orbital location. The company also asked the FCC to prevent DirecTV into entering any agreement for use of the Nimiq satellites, or interfere with Telesat leasing any of its capacity to another entity.