Thomson Multimedia announced Monday that it has signed an agreement with
EchoStar Communications Corp. to manufacture receivers for the direct-broadcast
EchoStar is awaiting government approval for its proposed plan to merge with
DirecTV Inc. parent Hughes Electronics Corp. Thomson was the first and largest
supplier of DirecTV receivers.
Investors had expressed concerns that Thomson could stand to lose its DBS
business if EchoStar chose to build most of its receivers on its own.
The companies said in a press release that the agreement is not contingent on
EchoStar's merger with Hughes.
Thomson plans to build receivers that could receive programming from both the
EchoStar Dish Network and DirecTV platforms in the event the merger is
Thomson said it expects to begin production on Dish boxes by