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DISH Network Corporation (DISH)

  • Thu, May 14, 12:33 PM
    • Facing criticism that his $3B wireless spectrum discount took money out of taxpayers' pockets -- and with the discount still unapproved by the FCC -- Dish Network (DISH +1.4%) CEO Charlie Ergen said it actually made taxpayers better off.
    • Dish used designated entities ((DEs)) SNR Wireless and Northstar Wireless to bid for $13.3B in spectrum while paying only $10B due to their small-business discounts. Competitors and critics have cried foul, noting among other things that that was $3B taxpayers wouldn't see.
    • Meanwhile, Ergen argues that the auction structure drove the total bidding to unforeseen levels, figuring that the bidding-up spurred by the DEs raised the value of the overall auction (which came in at $45B) by some $20B-$25B. Even with Dish's $3B discount, Ergen says, the taxpayers came out much further ahead.
    • As for other complaints, "We don't have de facto or de jure control of those DEs, based on the structure that we have," Ergen says, while noting again the FCC was unanimous in setting the auction rules ahead of time.
    • "I think we followed the rules. I think there's some sour grapes ... perhaps a Verizon (NYSE:VZ) now sits back and says 'We don't have the fastest network, T-Mo has the faster network ... We lost customers in the first quarter.' "
    • Previously: WSJ: FCC may reject $3.3B Dish Network spectrum discount (Apr. 27 2015)
    • Previously: Reuters: FCC moving toward reform of wireless spectrum bidding (Mar. 23 2015)
    | Thu, May 14, 12:33 PM | 4 Comments
  • Wed, May 13, 6:50 PM
    • Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) and Cogent Communications (NASDAQ:CCOI), along with other advocacy groups, have spelled out the conditions they'd like to see for a successful AT&T (NYSE:T) purchase of DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV).
    • Opponents to the deal met with FCC staffers last week; AT&T is expected to meet with deal reviewers in the coming days, and hopes to close the deal by the end of June.
    • Dish, Cogent and other critics asked that AT&T promise to sell Internet as a standalone service outside of its bundles at a reasonable price, and they asked the FCC to make AT&T comply with stricter net neutrality provisions for seven years, regardless of how AT&T's suit against the rules comes out.
    • Also requested: that AT&T include all video in any data caps, and restrictions on how AT&T handles interconnect traffic -- which particularly affects Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Dish's new Sling TV streaming service, key competition for DirecTV service.
    • Previously: Cogent joins Netflix in demanding conditions for AT&T/DirecTV combo (May. 05 2015)
    • Previously: Netflix to FCC: Reject AT&T/DirecTV merger (May. 05 2015)
    | Wed, May 13, 6:50 PM | 9 Comments
  • Mon, May 11, 11:58 PM
    • On the Dish Network (DISH -0.7%) earnings call today, Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch indicated that they won't be messing with the core offering of about 22 channels for $20/month, and will instead likely focus on what to do with the add-on tiers focused on genres and programming types.
    • “There’s not really another content provider that I feel we have to put in to be successful," Lynch said. "Doesn’t mean we won’t add more, but I think we’re going to be pretty focused on the price point because I think that's a key to our success too."
    • The offering has about seven different add-on tiers (including News, Sports, and Kids) offered for an extra $5/month each.
    • CEO Charlie Ergen differentiated ESPN -- considered the core bundle's must-have competitive advantage over other over-the-top services -- from regional sports nets that Sling doesn't offer. “It would be difficult to do any kind of bundle without ESPN."
    • Previously: ESPN sues Verizon over 'skinny bundle' TV offering (Apr. 27 2015)
    | Mon, May 11, 11:58 PM | Comment!
  • Mon, May 11, 8:53 PM
    • AT&T (NYSE:T) has urged the FCC to put a cap on wireless spectrum-auction bidding credits of $10M for designated entities ((DEs)), the companies funded by bigger firms that can bid on their behalf and earn small-business credits.
    • Competitors have been harshly competitive of Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH), who used two DEs in the AWS-3 auction to apply for $3B in bidding credits, effectively winning $13.3B in spectrum for just $10B in bids. The FCC is scrutinizing those credits, and a $10M cap would have effectively invalidated Dish's strategy.
    • Meanwhile, the FCC is reportedly circulating a draft order for the 2016 broadcast incentive auction that is almost unchanged from the original, despite entreaties from various firms/groups (also including Verizon (NYSE:VZ)) for changes. The draft is scheduled to be released next month.
    • Previously: WSJ: FCC may reject $3.3B Dish Network spectrum discount (Apr. 27 2015)
    • Previously: Big bidders receive spectrum from FCC auction; Dish waiting (Apr. 10 2015)
    | Mon, May 11, 8:53 PM | 11 Comments
  • Mon, May 11, 11:20 AM
    • Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) is down 0.9% in morning action after reporting a first-quarter decline in subscribers of 134K, though revenue increased more than 3% and profits doubled.
    • The subscriber shortfall was made up for by higher ARPU, up to $86.01 from the prior year's $82.36. Net income was $351.5M ($0.76/share) while analysts had forecast $0.40/share in earnings.
    • The company said programming interruptions (including a month without Turner networks, a three-week dispute with Fox, and 12 hours without CBS) drove down subscriber numbers, and churn was up to 1.65% from a year-ago 1.42%.
    • Pay TV subscribers were 13.844M at quarter's end, compared to a year-ago 14.097M. The company added 14K net broadband subscribers to bring its base to 591K.
    • Conference call at noon ET.
    • Press Release
    • 10-Q
    | Mon, May 11, 11:20 AM | Comment!
  • Mon, May 11, 6:11 AM
    • DISH Network (NASDAQ:DISH): Q1 Net income of $351M vs. $176M in 1Q14
    • Revenue of $3.7B (+3.1% Y/Y) misses by $40M.
    • Press Release
    | Mon, May 11, 6:11 AM | Comment!
  • Sun, May 10, 5:30 PM
  • Wed, Apr. 29, 7:57 PM
    • Already facing down strong criticism from competitors, Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) is feeling further heat as the Senate Commerce Committee has jumped in to probe the $3.3B in small-business discounts Dish drew as part of the FCC's January AWS-3 wireless spectrum auction.
    • The FCC opened the gates to formal criticism of the discounts, meaning it's determined that the discount applications are complete and correctly documented. Commerce Chairman John Thune wrote the FCC to request documents (as well as to Charlie Ergen and Dish Network and the company's two DEs).
    • A long review is ahead at the FCC; meantime, Congressional pressure is rising on what is a fairly common practice of FCC auctions (as Dish's official responses have maintained, along with pointing out that their intentions were disclosed to the FCC before the auction).
    • Previously: WSJ: FCC may reject $3.3B Dish Network spectrum discount (Apr. 27 2015)
    | Wed, Apr. 29, 7:57 PM | Comment!
  • Tue, Apr. 28, 9:16 PM
    • A federal judge has dismissed a $1.5B racketeering suit filed by Philip Falcone's Harbinger Capital Partners against Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) and Chairman Charlie Ergen, saying the claim didn't belong in his court.
    • The suit charged Dish and Ergen with illegally trying to take control of bankrupt wireless company LightSquared away from Falcone and Harbinger.
    • Ergen took the advantage over Falcone with LightSquared by gathering large amounts of LightSquared debt. On March 26, LightSquared got the OK to end its bankruptcy case and repay Ergen.
    • Previously: Harbinger takes legal swing at Dish Network and Ergen (Jul. 09 2014)
    | Tue, Apr. 28, 9:16 PM | Comment!
  • Mon, Apr. 27, 6:11 PM
    • A few months after Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) made the surprise bids in the FCC's AWS-3 wireless spectrum auction, the FCC may reject the company's $3.3B in small-business discounts it sought, The Wall Street Journal reports.
    • The discounts have been unapproved since the auction. Competing bidders including T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS), AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ) -- along with FCC commissioner Ajit Pai -- raised loud complaints about Dish's use of two designated entities, SNR Wireless and Northstar Wireless, to bid for $13.3B in spectrum but pay only $10B.
    • FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler reportedly told his staff after the auction that something didn't "smell right." Both Dish Network and its partner in Northstar Wireless stuck up for the practice.
    • If the discounts are rejected, the small companies would have to pay back the discounts or risk losing the licenses.
    | Mon, Apr. 27, 6:11 PM | 3 Comments
  • Fri, Apr. 24, 7:30 PM
    | Fri, Apr. 24, 7:30 PM | 8 Comments
  • Wed, Apr. 22, 1:59 PM
    • Dish Network (DISH +0.5%) has a deal to put its "Smartbox" in-room entertainment solution into more than 500 Motel 6 locations.
    • The multi-year pact means that Dish and World Cinema will deliver HD satellite service and high-speed Internet to all of Motel 6's owned and operated properties. Dish's unit, a centrally located bit of hardware, was judged by Motel 6 to offer "the same channels for less," with lower energy consumption.
    • Earlier this month, Dish Network lost its fight for trademark protection on the unit.
    • Dish expanded into the hospitality market by launching the Smartbox, which is able to deliver 96 HD channels to hotel guests, in 2013.
    | Wed, Apr. 22, 1:59 PM | Comment!
  • Tue, Apr. 21, 4:18 PM
    • Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) and the Weather Channel have agreed to a multi-year renewal of their carriage deal that notably includes streaming rights, both live and on-demand, for Sling TV.
    • The Weather Channel -- part owned by NBCUniversal (NASDAQ:CMCSA) -- has been at the center of a number of carriage disputes in the past few years, including a split from Verizon's FiOS in March and a few months off from DirecTV last year.
    • The launch on Sling TV will happen by July; no work yet on where it fits into that service's package offerings or prices.
    | Tue, Apr. 21, 4:18 PM | Comment!
  • Tue, Apr. 14, 7:17 PM
    • With the FCC's new net neutrality rules published in the Federal Register, AT&T (NYSE:T) and three industry trade groups representing cablecos and wireless carriers have filed separate lawsuits challenging the rules, which subject firms to heavier "telecom services" regulations.
    • AT&T is the first large individual challenger, joined by the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, wireless group CTIA and the smaller American Cable Association. The NCTA has hired former solicitor General Ted Olson, who argued Bush v. Gore before the Supreme Court.
    • Publication in the Federal Register means the rules take effect 60 days from yesterday -- which is why affected companies had their briefs warmed up.
    • Represented/related companies: VZ, TMUS, S, CMCSA, CHTR, TWC, CVC, CTL, FTR, CCOI, DISH, DTV
    | Tue, Apr. 14, 7:17 PM | 53 Comments
  • Mon, Apr. 13, 5:05 PM
    • An early study says HBO (NYSE:TWX) is benefiting nicely from its move toward solo streaming, with overall viewership up 85% since the March 9 announcement of HBO Now.
    • The impact of Game of Thrones can't be understated. The show broadcast its season 5 premiere last night and HBO pressed to have HBO Now up and running in time for that event.
    • The fantasy drama made up 19% of all content viewed on HBO platforms since HBO Now's announcement, and on the service's first day available last week, the show was 34% of all video viewed.
    • While HBO Now held up during last night's rush, Sling TV (NASDAQ:DISH) once again had issues, this time with streaming to Roku devices. The Sling service previously ran into problems serving up Final Four video.
    • The new season's first four episodes leaked online and were available illegally through file-sharing sites and downloaded 100K times in the first few hours.
    • Game of Thrones is television's most-"pirated" show. Past episodes were downloaded from file-sharing sites 7M times between February and April.
    | Mon, Apr. 13, 5:05 PM | 2 Comments
  • Fri, Apr. 10, 8:32 AM
    • AT&T (NYSE:T), Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) have received the AWS-3 wireless spectrum licenses that they bid for in a record FCC auction, but -- with a complicated application that involved its use of designated entities as bidders -- Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) has not, yet.
    • Dish spent the second-most in the auction ($13.3B gross bids, to AT&T's $18.2B), but its use of three DEs was criticized by competitors and Republican FCC commissioners alike, and it was missing from the agency's new list of 11 of 31 bidders whose bids were found to be complete and paid in full.
    • Still, given time, Dish is expected to ultimately get confirmed for its spectrum, as challenges to its approach haven't found traction -- at least this year. The FCC is reviewing its rules for DE bidding in advance of 2016's low-band spectrum auction.
    • "We ... still don't believe any restrictive or punitive action can take place on Dish's designated entities as a result of the AWS-3 auction," says Walter Piecyk of BTIG.
    • Previous FCC auction news
    | Fri, Apr. 10, 8:32 AM | Comment!
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Company Description
DISH Network Corp provides a direct broadcast satellite subscription television service in the United States. It offers subscription television, audio programming and interactive television services in the United States.
Sector: Services
Industry: CATV Systems
Country: United States