Sat TV firms join FCC auction to stay afloat

(The Denver Post via NewsEdge) EchoStar Communications and DirecTV have teamed up under the name Wireless DBS LLC to bid on licenses for Advanced Wireless Services spectrum at the US Federal Communications Commission.

The FCC auction of 1,122 licenses, each of which covers part of the country, is expected to raise up to $15 billion. Wireless DBS has made the largest upfront payment - about $972 million - of any bidder.

Among the more than 160 bidders is SpectrumCo LLC, a partnership between Sprint Nextel and the major cable companies, including Comcast.

The EchoStar-DirecTV joint venture has not revealed how exactly it will use the new spectrum, although it is clear that they need to beef up their offering to provide not only high-speed Internet but a library of thousands of hours of programming. This is in light of stiff competition from cable companies and other satellite TV providers.

c 2006 The Denver Post

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