EarthLink to Market DirecTV, Dish

EarthLink Inc. cut separate deals with DirecTV Inc. and EchoStar Communications Corp. that will allow the Internet-service provider to market bundles of pay TV service with its Internet-access business.

The marketing agreements are similar to deals DirecTV and EchoStar have with telephone companies such as Verizon Communications Inc. and BellSouth Corp. to market bundles of high-speed Internet, telephone service and video.

EarthLink won’t market both DirecTV and EchoStar in the same cities. Instead, the company will pitch EchoStar’s Dish Network in local markets in which DirecTV has bundling deals with a local telco and DirecTV in markets where EchoStar has a marketing arrangement with the local telephone provider.

“If the incumbent phone company has a deal with one [direct-broadcast satellite firm], we’ll have [the bundled offer] with the other,” EarthLink spokesman Dan Greenfield said.

The DBS-marketing push from EarthLink comes as the ISP is exploring other broadband businesses, as its dial-up Internet service continues to lose customers.

EarthLink is also building Wi-Fi networks in Philadelphia and Anaheim, Calif., through deals with the cities, and it has a new “Helio” mobile-phone play through a joint venture with Korea’s SK Telecom Co. Ltd.