DISH Network Corporation (DISH) - NASDAQ
  • Thu, Feb. 11, 3:01 PM
    • Sling TV (DISH +5%) has added Cinemax as an option for subscribers to its over-the-top TV offering.
    • The Internet TV service is offering the network across all supported devices for $10/month, and for subscribers to its "Best of Live TV" core package ($20/month) or one of its international base packages.
    • The offering features live linear Cinemax as well as an on-demand library of more than 500 programs.
    • “Sling TV is the first live standalone Internet TV service to deliver Cinemax to an audience of cord-cutters and cord-nevers,” says CEO Roger Lynch.
    | Thu, Feb. 11, 3:01 PM
  • Fri, Feb. 5, 3:35 PM
    • Sling TV and Dish Network (DISH -5%) are opening a software development office in downtown Denver, part of an effort to expand its in-house capability to build and support the tech side of its platform, including the on-demand Sling service and popular Hopper DVR/receiver.
    • Renovations are under way on about 20,000 square feet in lower downtown to create an open work environment along with a demo center.
    • The new facility is expected to be operational by June and Dish is recruiting to add 100 tech jobs there.
    | Fri, Feb. 5, 3:35 PM | 1 Comment
  • Fri, Jan. 29, 7:36 PM
    • Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) is increasingly charging extra fees to its broadband customers using heavy amounts of data -- in what analysts consider an insurance policy against cord-cutting, and an increasing annoyance to aficionados of Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX).
    • In nearly all of the company's test markets, customers who exceed 300 GB/month pay $10 for extra increments of 50 GB, while in some cities, they can pay $30-$35/month more for unlimited data.
    • Comcast argues that only about 8% of customers exceed the limit, and that usage-based billing is about fairness. “We’re just trialing ways to have a balanced relationship,” CEO Brian Roberts said last month. “I don’t think it’s illogical or something people should be paranoid about.”
    • What may be most problematic are net neutrality objections raised when Comcast's own streaming service doesn't count toward data caps for its customers.
    • Comcast's 300 GB wall is "very restrictive," says Sling TV (NASDAQ:DISH) chief Roger Lynch, and "clearly designed to discourage customers from using over-the-top services."
    • Previously: Wheeler: FCC's look at data exemptions is still lower level (Jan. 28 2016)
    | Fri, Jan. 29, 7:36 PM | 44 Comments
  • Fri, Jan. 29, 2:20 PM
    • In Dish Network's (DISH +1.9%) continuing multibillion-dollar trial over telemarketing violations, company co-founder James Defranco testified that the company didn't know contractors were violating the law with millions of robocalls.
    • The states and federal government are seeking more than $24B in fines in the case -- more than Dish Network's $21.8B market cap.
    • “They hid it from us,” Defranco said, testifying that if the company knew, it would have taken action. “I don’t know if we could have done more."
    • The judge has found that more than 55M illegal calls were made, and a telephone law provides for damages of $500 per call or text, which can be tripled for intentional violations. Meanwhile, a federal Telemarketing Sales Rule provides for $11K-$16K per violation.
    • The trial began last Tuesday and is expected to last about four weeks. Since it began: DISH -4.1%.
    • Previously: Dish Network telemarketing trial begins with billions at stake (Jan. 19 2016)
    | Fri, Jan. 29, 2:20 PM | 2 Comments
  • Wed, Jan. 27, 4:30 PM
    • After some lengthy talks, Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI +1.7%) has agreed to acquire the Tennis Channel for $350M.
    • The company -- the nation's biggest local broadcaster -- says it will benefit from more than $200M of net operating loss carry-forward, which Sinclair estimates to be worth about $65M in present value.
    • Sinclair had begun talks as of September with the various private-equity owners of the network, including Apollo Partners and Bain Capital Ventures, as well as smaller stakeholders DirecTV (NYSE:T) and Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH).
    • The deal includes established over-the-top subscription services, TC Plus and TV Everywhere, and the channel has rights to 90% of all televised tennis in the U.S.
    • "The Company expects 2015 pro forma operating cash flow for the contracted subscriber increases (including the additional license fees and advertising revenues resulting from such increased carriage), to be approximately $60M, the synergies of which will be phased in over 18 months, and resulting in a 2015 pro forma purchase multiple, including the present value of the NOLs, of 4.8x and approximately $0.40 of incremental cash flow per share," says Sinclair CFO Chris Ripley.
    • The company will discuss the acquisition in a conference call set for tomorrow at 9 a.m. ET.
    • Previously: WSJ: Sinclair in talks to acquire Tennis Channel (Sep. 21 2015)
    | Wed, Jan. 27, 4:30 PM | 4 Comments
  • Wed, Jan. 27, 1:09 PM
    • The FCC is planning to allow for open competition in pay-TV set-top boxes, which would open a new front against multichannel providers for hardware makers including Apple and Alphabet as well as TiVo.
    • A document shows that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler plans a proposal that would see a Feb. 18 vote, to open up a market where Americans spend $20B a year to lease equipment from their providers -- an average of $231/year.
    • The proposal also looks to prevent pay TV providers from using security systems to prevent competition. An industry trade group opposes competition in the device market, saying it wouldn't provide new programming or lower TV bills.
    • The entry of Apple and Google could mean that traditional set-top functions are provided by a tablet instead.
    • Set-top box rental fees have jumped 185% since 1994, the FCC's document says, while the cost of TVs, computers and mobile phones has fallen 90% in that time frame.
    • Updated 1:11 p.m.: FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler tweets: "It is time for us to unlock the set-top box market, as we did w/ Ma Bell phones & devices on wireless networks."
    | Wed, Jan. 27, 1:09 PM | 29 Comments
  • Tue, Jan. 19, 12:57 PM
    • In a trial that began today, Dish Network (DISH -0.2%) is facing billions in fines related to allegations of telemarketing violations, and while it says it's improved compliance over the past 10 years, the company says the fines being discussed are "shocking."
    • While Dish faces nearly $900M in federal fines, four states have joined in the suit and are seeking $23.5B (with a B) -- which is over and above Dish's $23B market cap.
    • The ending fine to be paid may come down to laws that allow for per-call fines for telemarketing violations. The judge hearing the case has already determined that Dish Network is responsible for more than 55M illegal calls.
    • A company that placed most of the calls on behalf of a Dish retailer has paid just $75,000.
    • The trial is expected to take about four weeks.
    | Tue, Jan. 19, 12:57 PM | 2 Comments
  • Fri, Jan. 15, 12:10 PM
    • Time Warner (TWX -1.6%) has joined voices in opposition to Charter's (CHTR -3.6%) proposed buyout of Time Warner Cable (TWC -2.6%), touching one of FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's hot buttons: It says HBO's push into streaming could be affected.
    • The company launched its direct-to-consumer version of HBO, HBO Now, last April -- setting a key anchor point in the cord-cutting debate defining media companies today.
    • Time Warner's concerned about statements by Charter management suggesting the combined company "would be inclined to take action directed at programmers in response to the development of 'over the top' services with the purpose and/or effect of slowing down the development of OTT options to the detriment of consumers."
    • Dish Network (DISH -3.9%) has filed actively in opposition to the merger and Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen used a meeting with FCC staffers to make the same point: The combination could "degrade" or "destroy" online video competition, which includes its Sling TV service.
    • "We think the (Charter-TWC) transaction is more likely than not to be approved," wrote Bernstein's Paul de Sa, "although a rejection is not out of the question, for example, if there is significant documentary evidence of anticompetitive intent toward over-the-top (OTT) video providers as Dish alleges."
    | Fri, Jan. 15, 12:10 PM | 4 Comments
  • Thu, Jan. 14, 12:48 PM
    • Sling TV (DISH +0.5%) is likely hitting 2M subscribers by the end of the year, Goldman Sachs says -- continuing to mitigate sub losses in its old-line satellite pay TV business.
    • Dish Network didn't report updated Sling numbers in its last earnings report, though it had 240,000 as of June 30, and analyst Craig Moffett estimated that it added about 155,000 to arrive around 394,000. Goldman's Brett Feldman thinks Sling exited Q3 with 346,000.
    • Meanwhile, Feldman thinks Dish's core business will lose 724,000 satellite subs in 2016, vs. a loss of 543,000 last year. The company said it lost a net 23,000 pay-TV subs in its Q3.
    • Previously: Sling TV unveils revamped user interface, more personalization (Jan. 06 2016)
    | Thu, Jan. 14, 12:48 PM
  • Thu, Jan. 7, 4:50 PM
    • An afternoon rout helped push Sprint (NYSE:S) down 6.7% -- now just 8% over its 52-week low of $3.10 -- the opposite direction from T-Mobile (TMUS +1.2%), again today the only one of the big four wireless providers to gain.
    • Shareholders might take heed of Bernstein's latest report on the area, which says that even with the interest floated by cable companies, satellite firms and foreign entrants, Sprint and T-Mobile are more likely to rekindle merger talks with each other than anyone else.
    • Most observers have thought that after a failed run in 2014, any new merger talks would wait until a new presidential administration, and indeed: "The prospect of a Sprint/T-Mobile merger — the only transaction that can materially affect the mobile sector's structure, conduct, and performance — will remain an overhang throughout most of the year," says Bernstein's Paul de Sa.
    • What's more, he writes, "We think major, irreversible strategic moves (for example, a massive network investment by Sprint or the sale of a majority stake of T-Mobile or Sprint to another owner, such as Dish Network (DISH -2.1%) or cable) is unlikely to occur" until there's more clarity about a possible merger between the two.
    • Such a deal has "by far" the largest cost and revenue synergies of the possible transactions, he says.
    | Thu, Jan. 7, 4:50 PM | 59 Comments
  • Wed, Jan. 6, 6:09 PM
    • Gabelli & Co. has put out its "Best Ideas" analyst roll-up for 2016, and in the technology, media, telecom area, it's highlighting a set: CBS, TRCO, TMUS, LMCA and EMC.
    • The company's analysts see T-Mobile (TMUS -0.4%) as an attractive acquisition candidate -- “essentially the only way for a domestic or foreign company to enter the U.S. wireless market in a meaningful way" -- and Sergey Dluzhevshiy names Dish Network (DISH -2.3%) or Charter (CHTR -0.5%) as possible suitors.
    • Meanwhile, the analysts see "more things that can go right for Tribune Media (NYSE:TRCO) than wrong," and echo Les Moonves' frequent assertions that CBS is "uniquely positioned to compete in a more fragmented and competitive U.S. TV ecosystem.”
    • And Gabelli reiterated its Buy rating on EMC (EMC -1%), which it calls the market leader in enterprise storage.
    • After hours: DISH +0.4%; CHTR -0.2%; EMC flat.
    | Wed, Jan. 6, 6:09 PM | 3 Comments
  • Wed, Jan. 6, 4:55 PM
    • In a week of new innovations for consumer electronics, streaming video service Sling TV (DISH -2.3%) has addressed a core complaint with a new user interface highlighting some interesting new pause/play functionality.
    • The new interface centers on a "My TV" section designed to learn and then promote a viewer's favorite material on the service.
    • A "Continue Watching" section promises to surface material that the viewer didn't finish, a la Netflix. But just as the service's live component is different from Netflix, not every content partner is supporting the pause/continue feature at present.
    • The service has also upgraded its Sports section to leverage the live-TV advantage of sports. It'll add ESPN 3 to its core lineup this quarter.
    • Sling's subscriber numbers aren't public knowledge, but Dish chief Charlie Ergen has said that he hopes gains at the OTT service can mitigate declines in pay TV. Analyst Craig Moffett has estimated that Sling added 155K customers in the quarter, to reach a total of 394K.
    | Wed, Jan. 6, 4:55 PM
  • Tue, Jan. 5, 7:07 PM
    • In its time at the Consumer Electronics Show, Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) rolled out a juiced new DVR, the Hopper 3, with a whopping 16 separate tuners and 4K content options to provide a whole-house experience
    • The company announced support initiatives around the DVR as well, including a universal search that includes Netflix programming, a small rechargeable device (the HopperGO) to carry about 100 hours of recordings around for Net-free viewing, and a slate of high-definition programs.
    • The Hopper 3 promises a "conflict-free" experience with 16 separate tuners, allowing for more family users to watch more programs in multiple rooms and/or via its Dish Anywhere remote offering, and to record more programs at once. It's powered by a Broadcom 7445, a quad-core Arm processor, seven times faster than the Hopper 2.
    • It also features a "Sports Bar" mode that divides the screen into quadrants that can each display a 1080-resolution picture -- clearly targeted at viewers of multiple live sports. And Dish plans to launch YouTube on the set-top box in coming months.
    • The HopperGO: Essentially a portable drive, it has four hours of battery life and can use Wi-Fi to transfer up to five independent recordings to five different users. It's priced at $99 with no further fees and will be out in late Q1.
    • Netflix in universal search: Addressing a common complaint of TV viewers, users will be able to search across Netflix's selection along with live, recorded and on-demand Dish content.
    • New 4K programming: To help populate the new device, Dish has a 4K slate including movies from Sony Pictures, The Orchard and Mance Media.
    | Tue, Jan. 5, 7:07 PM | 1 Comment
  • Mon, Jan. 4, 3:30 PM
    • Pacific Crest's Andy Hargreaves is expecting a strong year for media networks and is still bullish on a subset of network stocks as top sector picks for 2016: Twenty-First Century Fox (FOX -2.8%, FOXA -2.7%), AMC Networks (AMCX +0.1%), Netflix (NFLX -5%) and Time Warner (TWX -0.3%).
    • Hargreaves has Overweight ratings on all of them. He had called out AMC, Fox and Netflix for praise in the past.
    • After a tough year for media stocks, he believes fundamentals are lining up for 2016, including election-year advertising, amid lowered market expectations.
    • The group's average multiple is close to historical averages and below the broader market, "which creates a slightly positive risk/reward around valuation, in our view."
    • Two possible negative catalysts come if negotiations between Viacom (VIA -2.2%, VIAB -1.6%) and Dish Network (DISH -0.4%) take a bad turn, and if Thursday Night Football bidding follows a trend of skyrocketing sports rights costs.
    • Previously: Pacific Crest on media: Strong on AMC Networks, Fox, Netflix (Nov. 17 2015)
    | Mon, Jan. 4, 3:30 PM
  • Dec. 15, 2015, 5:29 PM
    • Dish Network (DISH +0.9%) has promoted Rob Dravenstott to its chief information officer post, to replace the promoted John Swieringa.
    • Swieringa has become executive VP of operations. Dravenstott, who also becomes senior VP, will see an expansion of his former role as VP of application development and testing, to include oversight of data center infrastructure as well as front-end customer sales and servicing applications.
    • The move comes as part of a cascade of changes in the leadership ranks at Dish, with COO Bernie Han moving up to executive VP of strategic planning; operations executive VP Erik Carlson replacing Han as COO and taking Charlie Ergen's president title; and senior VP Paul Orban becoming chief accounting officer.
    | Dec. 15, 2015, 5:29 PM
  • Dec. 11, 2015, 9:11 AM
    • Replacing Charlie Ergen as president will be 20-year DISH veteran Erik Carlson, who also takes over as COO. Current COO Bernie Han is named EVP of Strategic Planning, where he will continue reporting to Ergen, who retains the chairman and CEO roles.
    • Carlson's previous job at Dish was as EVP of Operations, where he presumably reported to Han. He will now report to Ergen.
    | Dec. 11, 2015, 9:11 AM
Company Description
DISH Network Corp. is a holding company. The company, through its subsidiaries, provides direct broadcast satellite subscription television services. It operates through two segments: Dish and Wireless. The Dish segment branded pay-TV service consists of, among other things, federal... More
Sector: Services
Industry: CATV Systems
Country: United States