Will The Internet Kill DirecTV?

Douglas A. McIntyre

Stocks:  (DTV)(DISH)(VA)(T)

Cable and satellite TV have battled for the American living room for a number of years. Both can offer hundreds of channels and now both offer HD TV.

The telecom companies have been satellite TV allies. With cable offering packages of voice, broaband and TV, the telephone operators could only offer voice systems and DSL broadband. Phone companies built alliances with DirecTV and Echostar so that they could offer all three services.

That is changing as Verizon and AT&T begin delivering TV over the internet, with hundreds of channels and HD offering. Fiber-to-the-home has changed the playing field. The big telecom companies are becoming the natural enemies of satellite TV companies, almost overnight.

Verizon want the cable customer, but to get a reaonable share of the home TV market, it will also have to take share from its former allies at DirecTV.

Satellite television now has two compeitors after having only one for a number of years. That could bring more price competition to the market, not something that the satellite vendors wanted to see.

Douglas A McIntyre can be reached at He does not own securities in companies that he writes about.