PrimeStar Inc. last week offered bondholders a four-day
extension on its tender to buy back its notes. The extension expired last Thursday
afternoon, with no immediate word from either side that an agreement had been reached.
PrimeStar officials were unavailable for comment last
Friday. They had traveled to Houston to attend yesterday's annual PrimeStar 500 NASCAR
Bondholder approval is one of the last roadblocks to
DirecTV Inc.'s attempt to take over PrimeStar's medium-power satellite-subscriber base.
DirecTV needs Federal Communications Commission approval to
transfer high-power direct-broadcast satellite spectrum at 119 degrees west longitude from
PrimeStar, but not for the subscriber-base acquisition. Still, analysts believe that
DirecTV will not try to close one PrimeStar deal without the other.
DirecTV earlier this month filed reply comments with the
FCC in response to EchoStar Communications Corp.'s petition to deny the 119 license
transfer, calling the document "a half-hearted attempt by EchoStar to delay
consummation of the proposed Tempo [Satellite Inc.]-DirecTV assignment."
Despite rumors to the contrary, PrimeStar is still taking
calls from potential subscribers on its toll-free number. And RadioShack will continue to
market PrimeStar until it's instructed otherwise, according to the retailer.
Independent PrimeStar dealers and installers are reportedly
eager to get the go-ahead to start selling DirecTV equipment.