You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Shooting down Sat

Groups knock EchoStar/DirecTV merger

WASHINGTON — Rural advocates and the National Assn. of Broadcasters were among a number of groups gathering Tuesday at the front door of the Justice Dept. to protest the proposed EchoStar/DirecTV merger.

The slogan of the event: “Dish the Merger!”

“It’s a monopoly, plain and simple,” National Consumers League prexy Linda Golodner said. “For the estimated 22 million households that are beyond the reach of cable TV, the merger means take it or leave it — it’s EchoStar or nothing.”

With Washington’s review of the merger in the home stretch, opponents are predicting that the DOJ will turn down the landmark deal, which would unite the country’s two largest satcasters. The Federal Communications Commission also must clear the marriage.

‘Correct decision’

“While our competitors engage in premature speculation about the merger, we have a high degree of confidence in the integrity of the FCC and DOJ process. We are confident that they will make the correct decision for the American consumer,” EchoStar spokesman Mark Lumpkin said.

EchoStar topper Charlie Ergen has assured Washington that the merged conglom would offer a national pricing plan to rural customers with no access to cable.

Some lawmakers aren’t convinced, including Rep. Chris Cannon (R-Utah), who was among Wednesday’s 100 or so protesters.

“If this merger is allowed, one company will dominate digital services in rural America. With lack of choice comes declining customer service, higher prices, inferior programming and stifled innovation,” Cannon said.

Lumpkin said such concerns are unfounded. In addition to a national pricing plan, EchoStar has promised to carry local broadcast signals.

Murdoch waits

Waiting patiently in the wings is media titan Rupert Murdoch, who lost out on his bid to acquire DirecTV. Should the EchoStar/DirecTV deal be scuttled, he could have another go.

The DOJ and FCC are expected to render their decisions on the merger this fall. Justice’s could come as early as this month.

Other groups attending the protest included the Communications Workers of America, the Latino Coalition, the American Cable Assn., the American Antitrust Institute, the National Grange and the National Cooperative Business Assn.

Repping NAB at the rally was veepee Jim May.

More TV

  • SHADES OF BLUE -- "The Hollow

    TV Ratings: 'Shades of Blue' Goes Low Again

    WASHINGTON — Rural advocates and the National Assn. of Broadcasters were among a number of groups gathering Tuesday at the front door of the Justice Dept. to protest the proposed EchoStar/DirecTV merger. The slogan of the event: “Dish the Merger!” “It’s a monopoly, plain and simple,” National Consumers League prexy Linda Golodner said. “For the […]

  • Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal celebrates scoring

    World Cup Live-Stream: How to Watch Iran vs. Portugal

    WASHINGTON — Rural advocates and the National Assn. of Broadcasters were among a number of groups gathering Tuesday at the front door of the Justice Dept. to protest the proposed EchoStar/DirecTV merger. The slogan of the event: “Dish the Merger!” “It’s a monopoly, plain and simple,” National Consumers League prexy Linda Golodner said. “For the […]

  • World Cup Spain

    World Cup Live-Stream: How to Watch Spain vs. Morocco

    WASHINGTON — Rural advocates and the National Assn. of Broadcasters were among a number of groups gathering Tuesday at the front door of the Justice Dept. to protest the proposed EchoStar/DirecTV merger. The slogan of the event: “Dish the Merger!” “It’s a monopoly, plain and simple,” National Consumers League prexy Linda Golodner said. “For the […]

  • Toni Collette photogrpahed for the Variety

    Toni Collette Among Three Cast in Netflix Rape Drama 'Unbelievable,' Lisa Cholodenko to Direct

    WASHINGTON — Rural advocates and the National Assn. of Broadcasters were among a number of groups gathering Tuesday at the front door of the Justice Dept. to protest the proposed EchoStar/DirecTV merger. The slogan of the event: “Dish the Merger!” “It’s a monopoly, plain and simple,” National Consumers League prexy Linda Golodner said. “For the […]

  • Los Angeles Animation Festival Will Honor

    Titmouse Founder Chris Prynoski to be Honored at Los Angeles Animation Festival (Exclusive)

    WASHINGTON — Rural advocates and the National Assn. of Broadcasters were among a number of groups gathering Tuesday at the front door of the Justice Dept. to protest the proposed EchoStar/DirecTV merger. The slogan of the event: “Dish the Merger!” “It’s a monopoly, plain and simple,” National Consumers League prexy Linda Golodner said. “For the […]

  • Peak TV Saturation TV Placeholder

    Broadcaster Gray Television Sets $3.6 Billion Deal to Buy Raycom Media

    WASHINGTON — Rural advocates and the National Assn. of Broadcasters were among a number of groups gathering Tuesday at the front door of the Justice Dept. to protest the proposed EchoStar/DirecTV merger. The slogan of the event: “Dish the Merger!” “It’s a monopoly, plain and simple,” National Consumers League prexy Linda Golodner said. “For the […]

  • Meek Mill Drops New Song, 'Stay

    Meek Mill Drops New Song, 'Stay Woke,' After Fiery Performance at BET Awards (Watch)

    WASHINGTON — Rural advocates and the National Assn. of Broadcasters were among a number of groups gathering Tuesday at the front door of the Justice Dept. to protest the proposed EchoStar/DirecTV merger. The slogan of the event: “Dish the Merger!” “It’s a monopoly, plain and simple,” National Consumers League prexy Linda Golodner said. “For the […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content