DirecTV and Echostar have added only half the number of subscribers this year as last, while cable growth has accelerated, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Cable’s triple-play offering of video, Internet and phone has been stealing customers from satellite TV, according to a story that appeared in Saturday’s Weekend Journal. The trend, underway for about a year, is increasing pressure on DirecTV and Echostar to merge, with the likelihood that a weakened industry will convince government regulators to permit a merger they previously rejected.
Meanwhile, the two companies are partnering to try and create a wireless broadband product, addressing their biggest competitive weakness against cable. Their partnerships with phone companies to provide DSL services are fraying now that phone giants are trying to offer video on their own.