SBC-EchoStar Partnership Produces 105,000 New Video Customers

Oct 21, 2004  •  Post A Comment

A bundled-services partnership between satellite operator EchoStar Communications and telecommunications giant SBC Communications generated 105,000 new video customers for EchoStar, SBC’s third-quarter financial results show.

The results, released Thursday, beat some analysts’ projections, yet fell short of others. Bernstein Research analyst Craig Moffett expected the SBC-EchoStar partnership to produce 100,000 new video customers in the quarter, while UBS Securities analyst Aryeh Bourkoff predicted 120,000 new customers would be added.

Including the third-quarter additions, SBC said, its partnership with EchoStar has generated 226,000 new EchoStar-SBC bundled customers since its official launch in March.

Shares in EchoStar fell nearly 4 percent Thursday morning to trade at $31.94 apiece.

EchoStar’s relationship with SBC has been an important growth driver for the Englewood, Colo.-based satellite operator, which has been operating in the shadow of its larger rival, News Corp.-controlled DirecTV Group. By teaming with SBC, which offers telephone, wireless and high-speed data services, the two companies are better able to compete with cable operators that are offering a similar array of services.

The satellite partnership is one of several being examined by SBC as it positions itself to do battle with the cable industry. The company is also planning next year to deploy an Internet protocol-based service capable of delivering video content over a high-speed network. The company will provide more details on the service, called Project Lightspeed, on Nov. 11.