From our friends at SkyRetailer.com
New Program for Dealers Debuting Jan. 27
RS&I, Inc., a distributor of satellite TV equipment and consumer electronics, said it will sever its business relations with DirecTV and Hughes Network Systems (HNS) as of Jan. 26.
"Until Jan. 26 we're 100 percent a DirecTV distributor and Hughes provider of product," said Mike Wilkie, vice president of marketing for RS&I.
According to industry sources, RS&I is reportedly going to become a distributor for EchoStar, but the company could not comment directly on the matter. "On Jan. 27 we'll introduce a new program and we would hope to have support from (retailers/dealers) when that time comes," said Wilkie.
DirecTV spokesperson, Jade Valine, offered comment on the matter stating: "RS&I was a distributor for DirecTV's independent retailers. And, they notified DirecTV and Hughes on Oct. 28 that they were electing to terminate their distributor agreement. That will bring the relationship of both companies to an end on Jan. 26, 2004. From our perspective, given the strength of our existing distributor network, DirecTV is confident that this will not negatively impact our independent retail network."
According to HNS, RS&I will fully support the platform and product line up until Jan. 26. "They've indicated they're not going to let their foot off the gas the slightest bit through that end date," said Allen McCabe, vice president of consumer product sales. "Our message to the dealers is we will have distribution in the western United States, and any dealer that has carried the Hughes Network Systems product line will have full access to it, all models, from top to bottom, in an uninterrupted flow as we go forward."
Stay tuned to SkyRETAILER for more information as the Jan. 26 deadline approaches.