CenturyTel Joins Growing List Of Phone/DTH Satellite TV Bundlers
CenturyTel Inc. [CTL] and EchoStar Communications Corp. [DISH] inked a strategic partnership that will allow CenturyTel to bundle its services with EchoStar’s Dish Network direct-to-home (DTH) satellite television service in the telco’s 22-state coverage area. As part of the partnership, CenturyTel will make a $25 million investment in EchoStar in the form of a convertible note.
Satellite Today is seeing these types of partnerships crop up all over the place. For the consumer, these deals are winners because billing is simplified by combining local, long- distance, Internet and now television services onto one statement. But this does put pressure on the companies from a customer-service standpoint. If one link of the chain causes customer-service grief, it could translate into a lost customer for all services. However, given the strong competition that DTH satellite TV is giving the cable television providers right now, these partnerships should be viewed as strong business moves for the telephone companies.