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EchoStar to buy Rainbow satellite
Posted: Fri, Jan 21, 2005, 7:19 AM ET (1219 GMT)
Lockheed Martin A2100 satellite illustration Satellite TV provider EchoStar will purchase a satellite currently used by a rival provider, Voom, putting the future of that venture into question. EchoStar said in a statement late Thursday that it will purchase the Rainbow 1 satellite from Rainbow DBS, a subsidiary of Cablevision. The deal, which includes a ground facility in South Dakota and other assets, was valued at $200 million. EchoStar, which operates a satellite of its own, EchoStar 3, at the same 61.5-degree west orbital slot as Rainbow 1, said it was studying how to best use Rainbow 1. Rainbow DBS had been using the satellite to provide a competing satellite TV service, Voom, that emphasized high-definition programming. Voom, however, had attracted only 26,000 subscribers since starting service in late 2003. Cablevision said that Voom will continue operations through an unspecified transitional period, but offered no details about the long-term fate of the broadcaster. Rainbow leases capacity on another satellite and just two months ago ordered five new satellites from Lockheed Martin. Cablevision management had soured on Voom because of heavy losses, canceling last month plans to spin off the venture.
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