EchoStar Puzzles over Latest Cablevision Deal Tactic

01 April 2005

US satellite TV giant EchoStar Communications has brushed aside attempts to derail its Cablevision deal.

It says it will go ahead with the $200 million (€154m, £106m) purchase of the latter's Voom satellite unit, despite Cablevision chairman Charles Dolan's request to the Federal Communications Commission to halt the move.

Dolan and his son James, ceo of Cablevision, are in the throes of a bitter feud over the future of the company's struggling high-definition satellite TV service.

Dolan senior is desperately trying to hold on to it, while junior and the company's board have signed with EchoStar to sell the Rainbow satellite and close down the content business.

Says puzzled EchoStar spokesman Steve Caulk: "We are perplexed that a member of the Cablevision board would now file an objection after the remainder of the board had already voted to sell. Nevertheless, we remain committed to completing the deal."

Dolan's grounds for going to the FCC were that the EchoStar deal would reduce competition in the satellite TV market.

He is adamant that he has enough financial resource to retain ownership of Voom.

Data sourced from Financial Times online; additional content by WARC staff