Bell Atlantic Launches Television Service to Single-Family Homes
in Washington, D.C. and New Jersey
Digital Programming from DIRECTV and USSB, Combined with Local
Broadcast Channels, Provides One-Stop Alternative to Cable TV
September 14, 1998
RESTON, Va. -- More than five million households in Washington, D.C.
and New Jersey can now subscribe to a new television service from Bell
Atlantic featuring more than 200 available channels of programming from
industry leaders DIRECTV, Inc.* and U.S. Satellite Broadcasting**
(USSB)**. This offering combines digital satellite television with local
broadcast channels for a complete, one-stop television service.
"Today homeowners in the Washington, D.C. area and across New Jersey
have a genuine alternative to their cable company," said Dick Beville,
president of Bell Atlantic Video. "Bell Atlantic -- a name that is
synonymous with customer service and quality -- has combined the best in
paid television with free over-the-air local channels, resulting in a superior
See related release today from Bell Atlantic on television service to
apartments, condominiums, co-ops and townhouses.
Satellite television has received an enormous amount of consumer interest
over the past four years. In launching its new service, Bell Atlantic has
capitalized on that consumer enthusiasm and, in addition, addressed an
unmet market need by combining the digital-quality picture clarity and
extensive programming choice of digital satellite television with one-stop
shopping convenience and local channel reception.
Bell Atlantic's complete package includes:
- Installation of a quality, tested off-air antenna -- at no additional
charge -- to deliver clear local broadcast channels without a
- Rental option for set-top box -- eliminating up-front equipment
costs. At $5.99 a month per set-top box, consumers can enjoy
the technological advantages of a high-end digital set-top box
and an 18-inch satellite dish without purchase and maintenance
- Simplified ordering and billing -- consolidating programming
package, sports subscription and pay per view charges from
DIRECTV, premium movie and special event charges from
USSB, and equipment fees into one, easy-to-read bill from Bell
- Customer service from a leading telecommunications company
24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"This is without question a new level of television service. This is what
consumers have been asking for," Beville said. "Consumers told us they
wanted more programming choices and easy equipment delivery and
installation. They said they want simple, reliable customer service. Now
they can get it all from one source -- Bell Atlantic, a company that is
unsurpassed in customer care.
"Most importantly, they want competitive pricing," Beville said. "We
invite comparison, because we're convinced that our offer can't be beat,
especially when you consider that it provides one-stop shopping for
television service, installed by the best technicians in the business." For a
standard installation charge of $199, customers will receive:
- Installation of an 18-inch satellite dish.
- Installation of an advanced set-top receiver with remote control.
- Installation of an antenna for analog and digital reception of
Bell Atlantic customers can choose any standard package offered by
DIRECTV and USSB. For instance, the most popular DIRECTV Total
Choice* package featuring 57 of the top channels and 31 commercial-free
Music Choice channels is just $29.99 per month.
Bell Atlantic plans to offer this service to households in additional
Northeast markets early next year.
DIRECTV is the nation's leading digital satellite television service with
more than 3.9 million subscribers nationwide. The service offers access
to more than 185 channels of digital entertainment, including popular
networks such as CNN, Disney Channel, ESPN, and USA Network.
DIRECTV is the only digital TV service to offer an out-of-market pro
football sports subscription featuring up to 13 pro football games every
Sunday of the regular season. In addition, subscribers can select from as
many as 55 pay per view movie choices a day for just $2.99 each when
ordered by remote. This offers many more pay per view choices than
typical cable systems.
USSB delivers the ultimate movie experience on TV** including famous
brands such as HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, The Movie Channel, Sundance
Channel, and more. For instance, a package of five channels of HBO is
available for just $10.99 per month. Big Events** pay per view
programming provides exclusive events such as boxing and concerts.
More information on the service is available at 1-888-379-2355 or at the
Bell Atlantic World Wide Web site at www.bellatlantic.com/digitaltv.
Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information
industry. With more than 41 million telephone access lines and more than
seven million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are
premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market
leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of directory
information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world's largest
investors in high-growth global communications markets, with operations
and investments in 23 countries.
*DIRECTV and Total Choice are registered trademarks of DIRECTV, Inc.,
a unit of Hughes Electronics Corporation. The earnings of Hughes
Electronics are used to calculate the earnings per share attributable to
GMH (NYSE symbol) common stock. Visit DIRECTV on the World Wide
Web at www.directv.com.
**U.S. Satellite Broadcasting, USSB, the ultimate movie experience on
TV, and Big Events are service marks of United States Satellite
Broadcasting Co., Inc.
Integrating Satellite and Local Off-Air Programming:
"This is a real competitor to cable TV, and consumers ought to give this
offering a close look."
Executive Vice President
National Association of Broadcasters
"What do I think about it? I've already called Bell Atlantic for
James B. Hedlund
Association of Local Television Stations
"This could be a home run for Bell Atlantic. If it moves fast and takes
advantage of the digital edge that DBS currently has over analog cable, this
service should give the DBS industry a strong boost toward adding
subscribers in record numbers. Our estimates indicate a year-end total
DBS universe of nearly nine million subscribers."
Chairman and CEO
The Carmel Group
"I'm totally satisfied. It's remarkable -- the quality of the picture is just
superior. The system is as easy to use as it was represented to be. The
installation by Bell Atlantic was very professional, and the installer gave me
plenty of hands-on training -- and gave me his phone number in case I had a
"I am really enjoying the service. The channel selection is great. I have
everything I want. The installation process by Bell Atlantic was seamless.
The installers were both courteous and professional."
Beach Haven, New Jersey