This excerpt taken from the DTV 10-Q filed Nov 4, 2005.
Note 4: Asset Impairment Charge
In the third quarter of 2004, we decided to utilize certain of our SPACEWAY assets for DIRECTV U.S. high-definition programming, which included two satellites, SPACEWAY 1 and SPACEWAY 2, that were nearing completion and ground segment equipment and systems. This decision to no longer use these assets for the SPACEWAY broadband service triggered an impairment test of our investment in the SPACEWAY assets under SFAS No. 144, "Accounting for the Impairment or Disposal of Long-Lived Assets." The SPACEWAY system was designed as a next-generation satellite-based broadband data platform intended to upgrade and expand HNS' broadband data businesses. Since the book value of the SPACEWAY system had been supported by the expected cash flows from the SPACEWAY broadband business plan that management no longer intended to pursue, the assets were considered impaired. Further, a majority of the capitalized value of the SPACEWAY assets related to functionality that will not be utilized for the DTH business. The impairment charge was determined by comparing the fair value of the SPACEWAY assets to their book value as of September 30, 2004. The fair value of the two satellites and certain related ground segment assets was determined based on the fair value of those assets as configured to DIRECTV U.S.' DTH business. The estimation of fair value included an analysis performed by an independent valuation expert.
Based on the results of this analysis, we reduced the capitalized value of the SPACEWAY assets in "Satellites, net" by $1.099 billion to $305 million, and the capitalized value in "Property and Equipment, net" by about $367 million to $30 million. These reductions were recorded as a $1.466 billion pre-tax loss in "(Gain) loss from asset sales and impairment charges, net" ($903 million after-tax) in our Consolidated Statements of Operations during the third quarter of 2004.