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DirecTV Retains Ownership of DirecTV 7S Satellite

By | October 23, 2003

      A U.S. bankruptcy court judge has ruled that DirecTV will remain the owner of DirecTV 7S, a satellite undergoing the final stages of construction in a Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) factory.

      In an unusual case, DirecTV’s archrival, EchoStar Communications [Nasdaq: DISH], attempted to buy the satellite off the factory floor as part of the bankruptcy proceedings involving the manufacturer’s parent, Loral Space & Communications [OTC: LRLSQ]. Instead, the court authorized Loral subsidiary SS/L to execute an amended contract with DirecTV to complete and deliver the DirecTV 7S satellite.

      The court also approved the binding authorizations to proceed (ATPs) that call for SS/L to build two additional DirecTV satellites, DirecTV 8 and DirecTV 9S, and one satellite, Galaxy 16, for its sister company, PanAmSat [Nasdaq: SPOT]. In addition, PanAmSat has an option to order an in-orbit spare for one of its existing satellites from SS/L on terms to be agreed upon. The value of the three new awards tops $320 million.

      For more on this story, see the Oct. 27 issue of SATELLITE NEWS. For info on subscribing to PBI Media’s satellite newsletters, check our Web site at .

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