The Johnson Family that owns Skyangel infuriates me

Holysmoke

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Jun 20, 2006
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I worked for Skyangel. I sat down to interview with the CEO Bob Johnson.

He told me the most heart felt story that he was given DBS space in the early 80's free and clear.

He said God gave him dreams that he was to launch his own satellite in the sky to give Christian TV a voice. He said a time was coming when noone would allow Christians to broadcast on secular birds.

He also told me the space he was given was worth millions and millions of dollars.

After he died I was so sad to see his kids abandon all the Christians who paid for lifetime subscriptions and all the Christians who paid cash for receivers and dishes to point at 61.5 just for Skyangel alone who did not want dish programming.

I suspect they sold that DBS space and are sitting on a fortune and claim the business is hurting and they need money and blah blah blah.

I bet Bob Johnson is turning over in his grave knowing his vision of satellite TV for Christians is now a silly iptv box that grandma and grandpa can't operate or configure. I am sure he laments all those lies about lifetime subscriptions.

I was one who took a lighter salary to work there in belief of what his vision stood for. I remember the kids were always fussing with each other and acted like spoiled children.

I lose sleep over it sometimes. It really bothers me that they sold out there fathers vision and scammed all those lifetime members. I would love to know what happened to that extremely valuable DBS space.
 

Wescopc

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Sep 11, 2005
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What went wrong with Bob's dream:
Not enough monthly subscriptions
To many Lifetime subs
The broadcasters didn't pay - yet they enjoyed the fruits of the offerings from the viewers.
Charlie and Bob didn't play well together hence litigation to solve issues

Bob's dream was great as far as it went, He just never got as many subs as he expected. Sadly the long term business model did not work, when the transponders on 61.5W started to fail there was no plan "B".
 

Holysmoke

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Jun 20, 2006
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The vision was never for Charlie to be involved. The vision was their own bird.


How much did they sell that DBS space for? Did they reinvest that into Skyangel? They claim to be broke all of the time.

These are questions Rob should answer to all of the skyangel customers abandoned.
 

Automate

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Jun 24, 2008
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Holysmoke

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Jun 20, 2006
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the article says "Johnson was one of the pioneers who acquired a satellite transmission license from the Federal Communications Commission in 1981 and was able to launch the network on a limited budget by trading some of those rights in exchange for satellite time."

He was able to start a company trading off a portion of his rights.

He told me at my job interview that the space he owned was extremely valuable. He also told me dish and dtv wanted his space badly.


I want to find out what happened to that space. There has to be a public record of its sale and transfer somewhere.

edit: the article also says "Although Scott declines to reveal financial information (Hoover’s estimated 2008 revenues at $13.6 million), he says the company invested $15 million to $20 million making the conversion to the Internet, financing it in part using lines of credit for the equipment."

That is a decent line of credit. Hmmm, how does a company as tiny as SA secure such a line of credit?
 
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PHIL16GUY

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Apr 2, 2008
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Holysmoke, you seem kind of bitter. Did you get fired or something? Also, after reading the article link above, I think it is pretty selfless if they got any money for the sale of something they reinvested it into spreading the Gospel with IPTV. They could have not done IPTV and just closed down. So what is the problem?
 

Larobpra

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Feb 13, 2008
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a silly iptv box that grandma and grandpa can't operate or configure.
This grandpa (and grandma) has found the IPTV box easier to set up and configure than my FTA satellite boxes.

We never had the SA sat. service either. We signed up for the IPTV before it launched. That is when I found this site researching SA and got hooked on FTA. All I can say is sorry you feel people got cheated but it's time to forgive and move on. If someone got even just a year or 2 of programming for the cost of a "Lifetime" sub, they still got a pretty good deal IMO. Times change as well as technology and lots of business models don't work out despite good intentions.
 

Iceberg

The No Pain Train
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
283
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None Your Business
I did not become aware of SkyAngel until after they started their IPTV service so I can't say anything about their satellite service. This story does not talk about the lifetime subscriptions but does talk about the death of their satellite.

Gulf Coast Business Review, Business News Leader for Tampa Bay, Sarasota, Fort Myers, Naples || Section || Broadband Faith

It seems as though in this case the "lifetime" ended up being the life of the satellite.
Echostar 3 is still operational

SkyAngel knew all they held were the licenses for 8 transponders at 61.5
-no satellite
-no equipment

so they partnered with Dish. Dish would supply the equipment and uplink the channels in trade for 6 of the 8 TP's that Dominion owned.
 

Automate

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Jun 24, 2008
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Thanks Iceberg, so do you know more about this event on 4/14/2006 that Scott describes as causing them to lose nearly half their channels? Was it a temporary outage, have more of these outages occurred on Ehcostar 3 since?
 

Holysmoke

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 20, 2006
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Holysmoke, you seem kind of bitter.

bitter? no. infuriated? yes.

I took a lower salary and lived in Naples FL for a sham. Naples is extremely expensive. I fell for the spread the gospel to the whole world fantasy. I fell for the vision at the interview.

Everyone that worked there was expected to take lower salaries and tow the line for the vision. We were supposed to be thankful that we were part of spreading the gospel.

Hard to raise a family in Naples FL on the money they paid but we were "earning treasure in heaven" they said.

I had access to some very personal information in my position. I saw the salaries of the VP's. Ironically they were all Johnson family members.

It was strange that Bob's wife drew a huge salary, yet never showed up to do any work.

Now it all turned out to be a scam. No plans for a satellite of their own, no spreading the gospel to the whole world.

Now you guys wouldn't understand because you didn't invest anything in skyangel like I did. You didn't relocate there with 2 small kids. Maybe you could put yourself in my situation and countless other employees who were duped as well. I think you might be angry too.

edit: This is my last post on this matter.
 
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Iceberg

The No Pain Train
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
283
35
None Your Business
Thanks Iceberg, so do you know more about this event on 4/14/2006 that Scott describes as causing them to lose nearly half their channels? Was it a temporary outage, have more of these outages occurred on Ehcostar 3 since?
Echo 3 is an old satellite...very old
Right now it can't even support the full group of transponders due to the age. Basically its up there right now waiting for another satellite to take its place

That outage was indeed a transponder failure. Dish moved the channels that were on that transponder to another one. They very quickly moved channels around on transponders to keep SkyAngel happy but also not to screw with their customers. Dish ended up "eating" one of the 8 transponders

A couple years ago there was a satellite that was suppose to replace Echo3 called AMC14 but after it was launched it suffered a major failure pretty much rendering the satellite useless and was never used by Dish. This was early 08. The owner of the satellite (SES) sold it to a government agency. So Dish is still using Echo 3 until the new sat can go up
 

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