DirecTV, DISH sign up for Clearwire

Evan Blass
E. Blass|06.14.07

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DirecTV, DISH sign up for Clearwire
Just as many analysts predicted following the two companies' failure to secure any spectrum during last year's FCC auction, both DirecTV and DISH-parent EchoStar have signed agreements with Craig McCaw's Clearwire to provide qualifying customers with high-speed wireless internet service (and by qualifying customers, we mean anyone who lives within a Clearwire coverage zone). What's more, current Clearwire subscribers will have the opportunity to sign up for satellite TV delivered right to their modems -- an American first, as far as we know. In other industry news, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that EchoStar and future DirecTV-owner Liberty Media are planning a multi-billion dollar bid for satellite-communications provider Intelsat, which would provide both firms with additional capacity and/or the capability to offer broadband from the heavens. So far all we know regarding a launch window for the Clearwire deal is that bundled packages will be available from all three parties later this year, once again making your satellite vs. cable decision a difficult one.

Update: D'oh! As several of you have noted, it's entirely possible -- nay, likely -- that Clearwire will simply be offering traditional satellite TV as part of a services bundle, rather than sending DirecTV / DISH content over its network.

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