Denver -- DirecTV Inc. last week said it will close an
Arapahoe County, Colo., service center it inherited from PrimeStar Inc., laying off 450
But the direct-broadcast-satellite operator plans to hire
150 workers at a new DirecTV Home Services business hub at its Chester Street location in
Denver to oversee installation and fulfillment orders nationwide.
"With a high concentration of cable-television and
media businesses, the Denver area is a practical, geographically centralized location for
DirecTV to establish a national service hub, with access to a skilled labor pool,"
said John McKee, senior vice president and general manager of PrimeStar by DirecTV.
DirecTV spokesman Bob Marsocci said employees at the
Arapahoe County facility have been given 60 days notice. Those workers can apply for
positions at the Chester Street facility, which already employs 100 workers that support
activities related to the company's acquisition of PrimeStar.
In addition to severance packages, employees who stay with
DirecTV during the 60 days before their jobs are eliminated will also receive cash
bonuses, Marsocci added.
"The employees know they can stay until the lease is
up, or they can leave and get as early a jump as possible on finding other jobs," he
Marsocci said the company hopes to close the Arapahoe
County center by Dec. 11.
Also last week, DirecTV said it added 160,000 net new
customers in September, a 32 percent increase over the same period a year ago. Not
included in that figure were another 77,000 former PrimeStar customers who converted to
DirecTV during the same period.
So far, 229,000 PrimeStar customers have converted to
DirecTV, giving the DBS operator's PrimeStar by DirecTV medium-powered service a
total of 1.8 million customers.
DirecTV's new replacement satellite, DirecTV 1-R,
lifted off successfully on Oct. 9. The launch marked the first commercial deployment from
Sea Launch, an ocean-based launch services subsidiary of the Boeing Co.
The DBS company plans to use the new high-power,
direct-broadcast satellite to expand channel capacity for its core service at the 101
degrees west orbital location. Once the bird successfully reaches its geostationary orbit
and completes testing, DirecTV plans to move its original satellite to spectrum to 110
degrees west. It will still have three satellites at 101 degrees.
Once Congress passes local-to-local legislation, DirecTV
plans to uplink local broadcast stations from up to 20 markets to its satellites at 101
degrees. Current DirecTV subscribers who add local stations from those markets
wouldn't need new equipment.
The DBS company plans to use its new spectrum at 110 and
119 degrees for Spanish-language programming, high-definition television and other new