DirecTV told retailers late last week that it was hiking rates for its lowest-price tier by 8.7%. The increase, which averages out to 4% across all tiers, takes effect March 1. The DBS operator raised rates more significantly for new subs than for existing ones. "This appears to be a clear indication that, at this point, churn management is a higher priority than is new subscriber growth," said Sanford Bernstein’s Craig Moffett. — EchoStar asked the FCC to impose conditions on the Comcast/Time Warner acquisition of Adelphia that would allow the DBS operator to make Comcast/Time Warner programming available a la carte; and would make the 2 MSOs provide all ancillary video services (including interactive and broadband applications) to EchoStar.

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