EarthLink to Bundle DirecTV With Broadband

EarthLink Inc. (ELNK) said Monday it will offer DirecTV (DTV) satellite television service in a bundled option in select markets across the United States.

The Atlanta-based Internet service provider said the offer will begin by the end of the first quarter. It did not say in which markets the option will be available nor offer any pricing details.

Atlanta-based BellSouth Corp. (BLS), the dominant local telephone provider in nine southeastern states, also has a partnership with DirecTV Inc. to offer bundled services.

The idea is to allow customers to pay for their telephone, Internet and satellite television services on a single monthly bill.

There is intense competition to provide such bundled services among traditional telephone companies, Internet providers and cable companies.

News Corp. (NWS) has a 34 percent stake in El Segundo, Calif.-based DirecTV, which has about 15 million customers. is owned and operated by News Corporation, which also owns a controlling stake in DirecTV.