EchoStar Ponders AT&T’s Next Move

EchoStar Communications Corp. is taking a wait-and-see attitude toward video shifts with AT&T Inc.’s impending purchase of BellSouth Corp.

AT&T markets EchoStar as the video portion of its bundle, and it added 134,000 subscribers in 2005. BellSouth markets DirecTV Inc. and added 323,000 in 2005.

“It’s AT&T’s decision,” EchoStar CEO Charlie Ergen said on the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call March 15, adding, “You won’t see any change” until the acquisition is completed.

Ergen said, “We did see some pickup” in Dish sales with AT&T in the fourth quarter, adding, “The relationship remains strong.”