DirecTV Eyes Jan. Launch for New Bird


DirecTV Inc. chairman Eddy Hartenstein
said at the SkyFORUM conference in New York Thursday that the direct-broadcast satellite provider will use the Loral Space & Communications Ltd. bird it recently won in a courtroom battle to expand its local-programming capability.

DirecTV 7S -- which Hartenstein said will be delivered at the end of the year and shipped to the launch site Jan. 1 or 2 -- will be launched as soon as the end of January, he added.

DirecTV had agreed to buy the satellite from Loral, but the satellite vendor filed for bankruptcy. As part of its bankruptcy proceeding, the company was able to renegotiate its contract to sell the bird.