Jake Gyllenhaal’s Enemy is the first picture the satellite company will offer on VOD exclusively for 30 days as part of the new deal with A24, the Wall Street Journal says. DirecTV has committed $40M …
Judging by the tone of Michael White‘s comments to investors today, he’s souring on the thought of trying to merge the No. 1 satellite company with its chief rival Dish Network. At the beginning of August the DirecTV chief said that while it might take a lot of work to do a deal he’d “never say never.” But he just told the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference that “there’s no question it’s very challenging for any deal to get done” following the Justice Department’s decision last month to fight American Airlines’ plan to merge with US Airways. Some analysts thought that the companies might overcome government antitrust concerns by offering to use the airwave spectrum rights that Dish has amassed to build a national wireless broadband service. White says that conceptually “that would be a powerful argument,” but adds that “powerful doesn’t necessarily make the other [antitrust] issues go away.”
The conclusion in a report late today from Craig Moffett is a big change for the MoffettNathanson Research founder – and could weigh on both satellite distributors tomorrow. Moffett has been Wall Street’s leading evangelist for a DirecTV-Dish Network merger: In June he upgraded both companies, urging investors to buy their shares, in the belief that Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen would pursue a “spectacularly lucrative” deal with DirecTV after he failed to gain control of Sprint or an influential stake in wireless broadband company Clearwire. The idea swept through Wall Street, especially after the company chiefs said they wouldn’t rule it out.
But Moffett just conceded defeat. He downgraded both companies to “neutral” and lowered his price targets (by 7.4% to $63 for DirecTV and 8.5% to $43 for Dish). The reason: Ergen’s passion to create a wireless service “shows no sign of cooling.” He continues to amass rights to wireless airwave spectrum, and the more he buys “the less feasible it becomes for Dish to sell its trove.” Federal officials
The story of the legendary NYC rock club that spawned bands like Blondie, the Ramones, and the Talking Heads will debut September 5 on the satcaster’s VOD platform. CBGB, starring Alan Rickman, Donal Logue, Ashley Greene, Johnny Galecki and Bradley Whitford and many others, will air through October 2 on DirecTV Cinema. It opens October 11 in theaters. Here’s the release:
EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Aug. 29, 2013 – DIRECTV CINEMA® is giving customers exclusive access to experience the birth of American punk rock music with the film CBGB, directed by Randall Miller and starring Alan Rickman (Harry Potter franchise), Malin Akerman (Watchmen), Ashley Greene (Twilight franchise) and Rupert Grint (Harry Potterfranchise). The film will premiere on DIRECTV CINEMA Thursday, Sept. 5 and air through Oct. 2, prior to its theatrical release on October 11, 2013.
EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned that DirecTV is close to picking up its third original series. I hear the satcaster is finalizing the deals for a 10-episode straight-to-series order to Navy St., an hourlong drama from Byron Balasco …
Investors are becoming so obsessed with the idea of a DirecTV-Dish Network merger that it seems to be just a matter of time before the companies succumb. Questions about the possibility kept popping up in Dish Network’s quarterly earnings call yesterday. Company watchers “seem to be fixated” on the subject, Brean Capital’s Todd Mitchell says. And execs don’t seem to mind. Last week DirecTV CEO Michael White said he’d “never say never.” And Evercore Partners’ Bryan Kraft says he has “never heard [Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen] speak as openly and positively regarding the possibility of a combination with DirecTV” as he did yesterday. The FCC blocked a satellite TV merger in 2002 on the grounds that it would leave many rural subscribers, who don’t have cable, with just one pay TV provider. But Ergen says that the business is “materially different” than it was then. Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-verse serve many markets. “And then of course, you have almost an unlimited number of people now on digital Internet getting into the business, whether it be from Netflix to Hulu to Amazon to everything else that you can do on the Internet,” Ergen says. “And that’s only going to grow.” Later he added that “there’s not any question that putting Dish and DirecTV together makes a lot of sense…. If you just wanted to create short-term value, that would be probably your No. 1 option.”
Listen to (and share) episode 45 of our audio podcast Deadline Big Media With David Lieberman. Deadline’s financial editor talks with host David Bloom about Under The Dome’s game-changing financial approach and what it means for TV; possible first steps toward a Dish/DirecTV tie-up; Facebook‘s sticky challenge as it considers sticking video ads in user news feeds; and media execs’ grudging acknowledgements that maybe this summer had too many tentpole films after all.
This was a lousy day for DirecTV after it reported lower-than-expected earnings, with especially weak results in Latin America. But CEO Michael White gave investors at least one reason to stick with the company: He signaled in a call with analysts that he’d be receptive to the idea of …
Jeremy Beach and his family lost everything when a wildfire destroyed their home near Colorado Springs this week. Everything except their DirecTV bill. According to his hometown paper, Beach was making calls about canceling various services when someone at the satcaster said he still owed $400 for a dish and two receivers that were lost in the fire. “I couldn’t believe it,” he told the Gazette. “I had lost everything, and they acted like they could care less.” Beach escaped the flames with his wife — who is expecting twins next month — their 5-year-old son, two dogs and little else. A DirecTV spokesman told Deadline: “The agent was absolutely wrong and should have known we have a clear policy that fully supports our customers during natural disasters that includes replacement of damaged equipment at no charge, long-term suspension of accounts for customers who must leave their home, and waiving cancellation fees for customers who need to disconnect service. We are contacting Mr. Beach to apologize and assure him and his family that we will do everything we can to help them through this difficult time.”