One of the reasons some were surprised the XM/Sirius merger went through is the fact that what you’d think would be almost the same exact merger between two satellite video providers was shot down. An argument is being floated in the blogosphere that the video version was shot down because DirecTV and Dish are the only options for rural Americans beyond the wires of the CATV business. Another argument is being floated, that the internet will soon provide rural residents with a video option in places where cable cannot, much as iPods and the internet were pointed to as evidence of competiton by XM/Sirius.
RBR/TVBR observation: We’d hazard the opinion that rural subscribers to audio service are almost in the same boat as their video brethren– they generally have access to a highly limited number of local broadcast radio stations, so to get any kind of diversity in their audio programming, they need one of the satcasters – and now there is only one. Further, those who are already starting to use rural internet access to whip up further satellite merger frenzy must first figure out how to get high-speed broadband into those areas.
And just what is it about mergers among some in the analyst community? Sometimes it reminds us of diehard soap opera fans who are addicted to weddings. We’ve heard of some women who actually don their wedding gowns for these events, and in the soap my wife follows, to satisfy this seemingly unquenchable thirst for aisle-marching, the lead diva has been married to just about every male in town as well as quite a few outsiders. Several other characters without as much time served on the cast are doing their level best to catch up, and most of the leading women have shared enough of the men to be able to spend months on end comparing notes. And the men obviously can return the favor.
Some analysts just seem to size up companies and try to decide who should marry whom as if the analysts are running some kind of dating service.
Note to analysts: When you’re betrothing the only two of a certain kind, it may be good for the couple, but it is not good for anybody else.