Universal Music, EchoStar Plan Channel

Dec 1, 2004  •  Post A Comment

EchoStar Communications and Universal Music Group are in preliminary talks to launch a music channel that would feature music videos from the recording label, sources confirmed Wednesday.

While details of the channel are sketchy, and by no means is a deal set, tentative plans call for EchoStar to carry the channel in some capacity on its DISH Network service, with Universal Music owning a stake in the channel.

Spokesmen for EchoStar and Universal Music declined to comment on the plans.

The channel initiallywould serve as a promotional tool for Universal Music’s artists, which include rock band U2 and rapper Eminem, and could help the label introduce to American audiences musical acts from overseas.

People familiar with the situation also noted that the channel would address the dwindling opportunities music labels have with established channels such as MTV and VH1, which over the years have moved away from airing music videos.

Universal Music is owned by Vivendi Universal, the French conglomerate that also owns a stake in NBC Universal. The entertainment giant has no ties to Universal Music.

Talk of Universal Music partnering with a satellite operator comes nearly a year after rumors circulated that Universal Music’s Interscope Records imprint was holding talks with EchoStar rival DirecTV Group about launching an uncensored music channel.