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Echostar, Vivendi Scrap Plans For Brazilian Pay-TV Venture

Vivendi’s GVT Subsidiary Will Pursue The Market On Its Own 12/13/2013 6:42 AM Eastern

On second thought, never mind.

Just more than two months after EchoStar Technologies and Vivendi subsidiary GVT set forth on a plan to form a video joint venture in Brazil, the companies have ended it.

Paris-based Vivendi issued a statement Friday confirming that the parties have ended discussions on the J.V.  Vivendi didn’t provide a reason for the decision, but noted that it “remains firmly committed to accelerating the deployment of GVT’s Pay-TV business. GVT will be pursuing its active growth development in this field by its own.”

In October, EchoStar  and GVT announced they were in discussions on a venture that would be headquartered in Brazil and managed by GVT. The anticipated IPTV video service was to combine GVT’s IP network with EchoStar’s satellite and video technology and its Brazilian licenses. They never announced when the venture might formally get off the ground, announcing at the time that the proposed deal  was subject to the execution of definitive agreements and corporate and governmental approvals.

Together, they were looking to go after a growing pay-TV market estimated to contain 16.2 million subscribers as of the end of 2012 and lock horns with competitors such as America Movil and DirecTV’s Sky Brasil unit.

GVT, a telecom operator in Brazil founded in 2000, operates in 146 cities there and most recently entered Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest city. It initially launched pay-TV services in 2012 via a hybrid of satellite TV channels with interactive features delivered on its terrestrial network. It has about 500,000 pay-TV subs.

EchoStar, spun off from corporate cousin Dish Network in late 2007, operates satellite-based TV and broadband services, develops and sells set-tops, and is the parent of Sling Media, the video place-shifting pioneer.

September