DIRECTV to Invest in DirecPath, A New Company Focused On Delivering
Wide Array of Programming Options, Broadband, Other Bundled
Services, Backed by Strong Focus on Customer Service
DALLAS, May 2, 2006 - Hicks Holdings, LLC, a Dallas-based, family-owned private
investment enterprise headed by Thomas O. Hicks, today announced the formation
of a new company that will provide bundled DIRECTV programming, broadband voice
and data services, security and other locally based services to multiple dwelling
units (MDU) across the United States.
DIRECTV will be an investor in the new company, which will be known as DirecPath.
The company plans to offer a full range of bundled services to the MDU market-including
property owners and residents of high-rise condominiums, apartment complexes
and gated communities-all on a single bill.
DirecPath plans to provide its own suite of services and in some cases will
pursue strategic partnerships to add other providers to the bundle. The market
for MDUs continues to expand and new technologies will help drive the efficient
deployment of the full suite of DIRECTV content plus such advanced service offerings
as HDTV, digital video recording (DVR), interactive services, and other programming
and services unique to the multifamily industry. The new company will be headed
by cable industry veteran Paul Savoldelli as chief executive officer.
"We are delighted to partner with DIRECTV, the unquestioned leader in multichannel
entertainment and related technology," said Thomas O. Hicks, chairman and
chief executive of Hicks Holdings. "Along with the experienced and outstanding
management team that has been assembled, we will launch and grow DirecPath through
the active implementation of our proven and successful buy-and-build strategy."
"The new venture will focus on meeting the unique needs of owners and residents
in MDU communities nationwide. We look forward to taking full advantage of this
market's enormous potential by offering the full range of DIRECTV programming
plus other value-added services to provide MDU owner/operators and, in turn,
MDU residents with a unique and compelling value proposition," he added.
"This new venture, backed by both Hicks Holdings and DIRECTV, is a key
part of DIRECTV's overall strategy to bring the best in programming content,
technology and service to MDU owners and residents," said John Suranyi,
president, DIRECTV Sales and Service. "Our goal is provide the full 'DIRECTV
Experience' to the MDU market including a wide range of digital programming
options and advanced services-all supported by superior customer service."
Mr. Suranyi added, "DirecPath illustrates a new level of commitment by
DIRECTV to the MDU market and property owners, and expands on our existing relationships
with a number of key operators, telephone companies and other dealers who sell
and install DIRECTV services in MDUs today."
DIRECTV continues to expand its sales and marketing efforts in the MDU market
and recently developed and launched a new "single wire" technology
that provides the full array DIRECTV services, including DVR and HDTV, to MDU
residents over existing wiring. The company continues to innovate in the MDU
space and more new advancements in MDU technology will be announced by DIRECTV
later this year.
DirecPath CEO Savoldelli most recently served as CEO of Davivo Management Group,
the entity that oversees HM Capital Partners' cable operations in Latin America,
including systems comprising approximately 2.4 million pay television and Internet
subscribers in Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela. Mr. Savoldelli was also a co-founder,
in 1992, of Optel, Inc., the largest private cable operator at that time with
250,000 subscribers in California, Texas and Colorado before its 1995 sale to
DIRECTV (NYSE: DTV) is the nation's leading digital multichannel television
service provider with more than 15 million customers. DIRECTV is a registered
trademark of DIRECTV Inc., a world-leading provider of digital multichannel
television entertainment. DIRECTV is approximately 37% owned by News Corporation.
For more information visit www.directv.com
About Hicks Holdings
Hicks Holdings was formed in January 2005 as a holding company for the Hicks
family's sports, real estate and other assets and investments. In November 2005,
Hicks Holdings acquired Ocular LCD, Inc., a leading designer, manufacturer and
marketer of high-performance liquid crystal displays, modules and systems. In
January 2006, Hicks Holdings announced a hotel development joint venture with
Gatehouse Capital Corp., a Dallas-based real estate investment firm and the
largest third-party developer of W Hotels, under which Hicks Holdings will invest
with Gatehouse Capital in high-end hotel and residential real estate projects
in Texas, California and other U.S. regions. Hicks Holdings is also the controlling
shareholder of Gammaloy, a leading oil and gas drilling tool rental and manufacturing
company, and of River City Landscape Supply, a leading regional supplier of
landscape materials. Through Hicks Trans American Partners, Hicks Holdings also
selectively pursues corporate and real estate investments in South America.
Hicks Holdings, LLC
Roy Winnick or Mark Semer
Kekst and Company
212-521-4842 or 4802