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Qwest buyer CenturyLink switches from Dish Network to DirecTV


Denver Business Journal

August 2, 2010


CenturyLink, the company buying Qwest, has dropped Dish Network as the satellite TV service it sells in its voice, video and Internet bundles. It will sell DirecTV instead.

The change gives Monroe, La.-based CenturyLink (NASDAQ: CTL) the same satellite partner as Denver-based Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q), which CenturyLink is buying in a valued at $22 billion deal, when debt is included. The merger is expected to close by spring, 2011.

CenturyLink, formerly known as CenturyTel, has been a longtime reseller of Douglas County-based Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) service. CenturyLink’s acquisition in 2009 of Embarq made it an even larger Dish reseller, with the combined company topping 500,000 Dish subscribers spread across 20 states.

But this weekend, CenturyLink began offering DirecTV deals to its residential customers.

El Segundo, Calif.-based DirecTV has resale partnerships now with the four largest telecoms in the U.S., AT&T, Verizon, Qwest and CenturyLink.

DirecTV is the largest satellite TV company in the U.S., with 18 million subscribers. Dish Network has 14.1 million subscribers.  DirecTV — whose largest shareholder is John Malone, founder and chairman of Douglas County-based Liberty Media Corp. — won’t target Dish Network customers in CenturyLink territory for new subscribers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Compiled by the DBJ’s Greg Avery