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DirecTV - History of DirecTV

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DirecTV was one of the first direct broadcast satellite (DBS) companies to begin satellite broadcasts in the United States. DirecTV was launched in 1994 and was the premiere DBS provider in the world. DirecTV Group is a subsidary of New Corporations Fox Entertainment Group.

DirecTV has a few competitors in the DBS market, but they are the powerhouse company among the United States satellite service providers. DirecTv currently (as of 2004) services more than 12.5 million customers in the United States. In addition, it offers services to 1.5 million members in various Latin American companies.

DirecTV typically uses an 18-inch satellite dish to receive their satellite signals. These dishes, slightly larger than the small, compact dishes, offer customers a choice of services, such as: satellite TV, broadband satellite internet, audio and HDTV.

In 1998, DirecTV acquired USSB (it's current business partner) for $1.3 billion. In 1999, DirecTV followed that purchase with the purchase of PrimeStar for $1.83 billion. An attempted merger with EchoStar (owner of DISH Network) fell through in 2003.

DirecTV is not only a pioneer in satellite services, but also a pioneer in tracking down piracy. DirecTV has suffered from an active underground system to sell priated satellite cards. As of March of 2004, DirecTV claims to have sued 24,000 users who purchased smart card devices, which could possible rewrite original DirecTV access cards.

There are some rumors floating about that DirecTV will merge with BSkyB (the UK satellite company), and form a global satellite service.

DirecTv certainly offers consumers a solid competitive satellite service. While it does have the largest market share among it's competitors, it's by no means the only option to consider when looking at satellite service. Competition among satellite TV companies ultimately benefits the consumer, by offering new services and quality customer interactions.

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