Echostar making Asian move?
Charlie Ergen is making his much anticipated move onto the Asian (and possibly Middle East) market.
Here’s what we know. Power Star Ltd (PSL), a company incorporated in Hong Kong and a joint venture between AsiaSat and Echostar Corp has submitted an application to Hong Kong’s Broadcasting Authority for a “Non-domestic Television Programme Service Licence” to provide direct-to-home subscription television service. The application was published in the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Gazette on September 11 2009 and is currently under review by the Broadcasting Authority. In the case of a Non-domestic Television Programme Service Licence, the service does not primarily target Hong Kong.
The proposed service of PSL is not intended to compete head-on with local free and pay-TV operators, said a statement from AsiaSat. AsiaSat’s latest craft, the giant AsiaSat 5, was commercialised on Sept 17 following its launch on Aug 12. It operates from 100.5 deg East. The satellite carries 14 Ku-band, and 26 C-band transponders that can potentially span from Russia to New Zealand, and includes the Middle East and Japan as well as parts of Africa.
The target launch date of the Power Star service is the end of 2009. Programming and subscription packages will be determined and announced in the coming months, said AsiaSat.
Echostar has been busy recently talking to Middle East broadcasters as well as some major players in India. A report on Sept 28 said that Echostar had “revived” its interest in the Indian market. The report quoted Marc Lumpkin, an EchoStar spokesperson, 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.”