DirecTV expands


Satellite TV company DirecTV Inc. is expanding its local TV signal offering
to Buffalo, N.Y., and Oklahoma City, bringing the total number of cities to
which it offers local TV service to 46, the company said Wednesday.

So far, DirecTV delivers local TV channels to customers in 41 markets, but
it plans to add service in Hartford, Conn.; Las Vegas; and Providence, R.I., by

The company says it plans to expand the service to 51 markets by the end of
the year.

DirecTV is currently seeking regulatory approval to merge with EchoStar
Communications Corp.

If that merger is approved, the two companies said they will offer local TV
service to all 210 TV markets.

To further that end, DirecTV Tuesday launched DirecTV 5, the seventh
satellite in DirecTV's in-orbit fleet, the company said.

Sources confirmed Wednesday that EchoStar CEO Charlie Ergen and DirecTV
chairman Eddy Hartenstein paid a visit to the National Association of
Broadcasters last week to pitch their 210-market plan.

The NAB has been vigorously opposed to EchoStar's proposed purchase of Hughes
Electronics Corp. and its DirecTV subsidiary.