Pegasus snaps up 12 affiliates

Pegasus Communications Corporation (Nasdaq: PGTV) announced Thursday it will buy a dozen DIRECTV rural affiliates in the U.S. for about $100.6 million in cash and stock.

The pending acquisitions serve about 52,000 direct broadcast satellite (``DBS'') subscribers and reach nearly 307,000 households.

Shares in the company, which also operates 10 TV stations in smaller markets affiliated with FOX, UPN and the WB, closed at 45 Wednesday. The stock took a downturn when the company was downgraded earlier this month.

The acquisitions will bring Pegasus' concentration of DIRECTV's Rural Affiliates to nearly 85 percent, bringing it closer to the goal of completing the consolidation within the next 12 to 18 months.

The company said these acquisitions strengthen its presence in the upper Midwest and central plains regions, markets it believes ripe for DBS and, in the future, satellite delivered broadband access.

DIRECTV is a subsidiary of Hughes Electronics, a unit of General Motors. Pegasus competes with EchoStar Communications (Nasdaq: DISH) and Time Warner (NYSE: TWX).