- Sep 8, 2003
From our friends at SkyReport.com
Pegasus Chairman and CEO Marshall Pagon said he expects a big shake-up in DirecTV's management if and when the satellite TV service and its parent Hughes are taken over by News Corp.
"In my opinion it is likely that substantially all of DirecTV's current management will change when News Corp. takes control," Pagon said during the company's third quarter conference call. "It is likely that News Corp.'s vision for DirecTV will differ substantially from that of current management. Therefore, there will be significant changes in both the focus and operation of DirecTV over the next 12 months."
While it's unclear what the specific changes will be, Pagon said his company, which sells DirecTV in rural areas, is "keenly focused on assessing and adjusting to those changes" when they surface.
Pagon also discussed the settlement the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative reached with DirecTV concerning access to premium programming and other long-standing issues between the two entities. "We were clearly surprised that NRTC decided to seek a separate settlement with DirecTV," Pagon said.
"Obviously, we are disappointed that they did so without consultation of its members. We do not believe that the proposed settlement serves the best interests of its members," he said. Pegasus controls NRTC affiliates.
Pagon said Pegasus' rights to distribute service are unaffected by the DirecTV/NRTC settlement, and its claims against DirecTV are expected to go to federal court next year unless settled between the companies. Pagon said he could rather settle, but "we have no reservation about presenting our case to a judge and jury," he said.
Pegasus said consolidated net revenues decreased $10.1 million to $214.7 million for the quarter. The net loss applicable to common shares decreased $1.6 million to $44.4 million, the company said. DBS net revenues decreased $9.4 million to $207 million.
Pegasus said its DBS business netted a 33,000 subscriber loss, taking its total at the end of third quarter to 1.2 million.