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EchoStar looking at India’s DTH?
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Charlie Ergen’s Echostar is again looking at the Indian market, according to a local report.

A story in the Economic Times quotes two unamed senior executives with DTH companies as saying that Echostar has “revived” its interest in the market. Echostar has previously held talks with DTH platforms over strategic partnerships but nothing has eventuated. The report states that one option might be for EchoStar to take a “strategic stake” in an Indian DTH operator.

It is known that EchoStar has been holding talks with some Middle East broadcasters about launching an all-HDTV service over the Middle East, and some current satellite operators have footprints that easily cover both India and large portions of the Middle East.

All of the five existing Indian DTH operators – Tata Sky, Dish TV, Sun Direct, Big TV and Airtel Digital TV – are likely to need deep pockets as the DTH market remains highly competitive and break even for most operators is likely to be some years away.

Marc Lumpkin, an EchoStar spokesperson, is quoted as saying “We have not made any announcements about other (besides Mexico and Taiwan) potential opportunities for launching a DTH service around the world, but we are always looking at ways we can use our experience and expertise to create businesses related to DTH services.”

Besides its broadcasting skills (as Dish), EchoStar’s set-top box and Sling Media experience could be useful assets in the Indian and/or the Middle East markets.

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