Stocks/Earning

DirecTV: We’ll Stay Partners on Wireless

CEO Says No Plans to Follow Dish on Spectrum, Acquisition Front 5/07/2013 12:22 PM Eastern

DirecTV CEO Mike White said Tuesday that despite its rival Dish Network’s forays into wireless spectrum and potential carrier acquisitions, the satellite TV giant would rather partner with carriers on wireless initiatives.

Dish Network has been making waves on the wireless front over the past few years, spending about $3 billion on acquiring wireless spectrum licenses and in April launched a $25.5 billion unsolicited bid for Sprint Nextel. Sprint’s board of directors is currently evaluating that proposal.

On a conference call with analysts to discuss its first quarter results, White said DirecTV currently has partnerships with wireless carriers like Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Century Tel to provide its customers access to their wireless networks and has no plans to alter that relationship.

White said on the call that DirecTV is fully committed to providing its customers access to content on whatever device they choose wherever they want it, but that he doesn’t believe the economics are favorable in either acquiring spectrum to build out a new network, or to acquire an established service provider.

White added that there are several factors to consider when entering into such arrangements, including amassing spectrum, establishing wireless backhaul operations and storefronts and building a brand.

“There are a lot of aspects to that industry and all I’ve said is for DirecTV, I don’t believe it is our intention to do a greenfield entry or acquire a wireless company,” White said. “Our approach has been to partner.”

And while the DirecTV CEO sees mobile video as becoming increasingly more important as consumers desire to move more and more content seamlessly across their devices, it “in no way changes the primacy of the big screen TV in the home to watch the game.”

    

September