EchoStar, Vivendi Abandon Talks on Brazilian TV Deal

by

PARIS — EchoStar Corp. and the GVT subsidiary of French media group Vivendi on Dec. 13 said they have ended talks on a joint venture to develop a pay-television service in Brazil using EchoStar’s orbital slot at 45 degrees west longitude.

The collapse of the negotiations would appear to put Englewood, Colo.-based EchoStar back to square one in figuring out how to monetize its $80 million investment in the orbital position, which the company won in mid-2011 in an auction organized by Brazil’s Anatel telecommunications regulatory agency.

EchoStar warned investors in November that the negotiations with GVT still had a long way to go before anything was finalized. Both companies said in Dec. 13 statements that they would continue to pursue Brazilian pay-television options on their own.

EchoStar’s Brazilian license obliges the company to make a substantial investment in satellite capacity at 45 degrees west. EchoStar leased the EchoStar 15 satellite from its sister company, Dish Network, in May and moved it into the Brazilian slot as a way of proving to prospective joint-venture partners that it was committed to the Brazilian TV business.

But EchoStar said this would be only a short-term solution and that any joint venture would need to build its own satellite dedicated to the Brazilian TV market.

 

Follow Peter on Twitter: @pbdes