EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Sep 8, 2004 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- DIRECTV, Inc., provider of
the nation's leading digital multichannel television service, announced today a
historic expansion of programming capacity with the planned launch of four new
next-generation satellites. These satellites will provide DIRECTV with a massive
expansion in local and national high-definition (HD) channels, as well as
capacity for new interactive and enhanced services and standard-definition
programming. DIRECTV will have the capacity to bring these new services to every
household in America.
"We have led the TV industry in choice, quality and service and we are now
positioned to lead the industry in bringing new advanced television programming
to consumers nationwide," said Chase Carey, president and CEO of The DIRECTV
Group, Inc. "Only DIRECTV, not cable or other competitors, will have the
capability to bring hundreds of high-definition channels and other enhancements
to consumers across the entire country with the consistency, reliability and
quality that they demand and deserve."
The first two of these satellites, Spaceway 1 and Spaceway 2, will launch in
2005 with programming being offered to consumers by the middle of the year.
These satellites will have the capacity for more than 500 local HD channels.
With these satellites, DIRECTV will have the ability to bring local HD
programming to most of the U.S. population, as well as continuing to expand
standard-definition local offerings and other enhancements.
The next two satellites, DIRECTV 10 and DIRECTV 11, will launch in early 2007.
These satellites will have the capacity for more than 1,000 additional local HD
channels, more than 150 national HD channels, and other new programming
offerings. These satellites will provide DIRECTV the capability to bring local
and national HD programming and other advanced services to every U.S. household.
Consumers will be able to receive all of these services, as well as existing
DIRECTV(R) programming, with a single small satellite dish.
"Today's announcement is one of the most significant in the history of DIRECTV.
We are reinforcing our commitment to best serve our customers with the most
attractive and compelling array of programming services available," said Mitch
Stern, president and CEO, DIRECTV, Inc. "Furthermore, with the launch of local
HD channels we will help advance the nation's transition to digital television.
Our strongest growth is in our local channel markets where millions of former
cable customers have cut their service for DIRECTV; offering local HD channels,
as well as a variety of interactive services, will strengthen our competitive
position and give cable customers who have yet to switch another reason to
subscribe to DIRECTV."
DIRECTV 10 and DIRECTV 11, to be built by Boeing, will be among the largest and
most powerful Ka-band satellites ever launched. The satellites, which will take
advantage of DIRECTV's advanced transmission techniques and state-of-the-art
video compression technology, will deliver national HD programming and will be
capable of supporting spot beams carrying local HD broadcast channels in all 50
states. Boeing will also build a third satellite for DIRECTV that will serve as
a ground spare.
The Spaceway 1 and Spaceway 2 satellites, also being built by Boeing, are
approaching completion and the satellites were recently converted to be capable
of offering both video and a broadband Internet service. Boeing is also
constructing a third Spaceway satellite.
Today DIRECTV delivers one of the most robust HD programming lineups available.
The DIRECTV HD Package includes ESPN HD, Discovery HD Theater(TM), Bravo HD+,
HDNet, HDNet Movies, and HD Special Event programming for $10.99 per month. This
football season, via its exclusive NFL SUNDAY TICKET package, DIRECTV will air
more than 125 NFL games in HD format. In addition, DIRECTV offers a HD Pay Per
View channel, HBO(R) HDTV and SHO HD(R) (HBO(R) HDTV and SHO HD(R) are included
with their respective premium programming subscriptions). DIRECTV also delivers
the national CBS HD feed for customers who live in CBS O&O markets and will
launch the national NBC HD feed to customers living in NBC O&O markets this
Earlier this year, DIRECTV introduced the DIRECTV HD DVR, the most advanced DVR
in the world. The DIRECTV HD DVR enables consumers to record and play back HD
programming, record a show while watching another or record two shows
simultaneously. It seamlessly supports all these features for HDTV
transmissions, standard-definition programming and off-air ATSC broadcasts, all
through an integrated advanced program guide. The DIRECTV HD DVR allows
customers to record more than 30 hours of HD programming or up to 200 hours of
DIRECTV is the nation's leading digital multichannel television service provider
with more than 13 million customers. DIRECTV and the Cyclone Design logo are
registered trademarks of DIRECTV, Inc., a unit of The DIRECTV Group, Inc.
(NYSE:DTV). The DIRECTV Group is a world-leading provider of digital
multichannel television entertainment and broadband satellite networks and
services. The DIRECTV Group is 34 percent owned by Fox Entertainment Group,
which is approximately 82 percent owned by News Corporation Ltd. For more
information, visit www.directv.com.
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT CONCERNING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
NOTE: This release may contain statements that we believe are, or may be
considered to be, "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of various
provisions of the Securities Act of 1933 and of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934. These forward-looking statements generally can be identified by use of the
statements that include phrases such as we "expect," "plan," or other similar
words or phrases. Similarly, statements that describe our objectives, plans or
goals, such as the discussion in the release of our expected expansion of HD
programming and new advanced and interactive programming services, also are
forward-looking statements. All of these forward-looking statements are subject
to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ
materially from the expected results expressed or implied by the relevant
forward-looking statement. Risk factors that could cause our actual results and
future actions to differ materially from forward-looking statements made herein
include, among others: the ability of our satellite manufacturers to complete
the satellites that we intend to utilize to achieve the expansion of the HD
programming and other services; the success and timeliness of those satellite
launches; the in-orbit performance of those satellites; consumer demand for HD
programming and market acceptance of that programming; regulatory and
technological impediments that could adversely affect our ability to deliver HD
services or other services; the ability of our competitors to expand
availability of HD programming or offer HD programming or other services that we
do not offer or that are superior to our services; the ability of our
programmers to deliver programs broadcast in HD or to deliver other services;
and the ability of the manufacturers of the equipment necessary to receive HD
programming and other services to satisfy market demands.
SOURCE: DIRECTV, Inc.
CONTACT: DIRECTV, Inc.
Bob Marsocci, 310-964-4656
Robert Mercer, 310-964-4683
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Copyright (C) 2004 Business Wire. All rights reserved.
SOURCE: DIRECTV, Inc.