News tagged: Dish Network
With all the quarterly earnings reports in, telecom analyst firm MoffettNathanson notes that the Pay TV industry lost about 113,000 subscribers on the quarter
. Cable operators lost 687,000 subscribers in Q3, and while telcoTV and satellite providers added 574,000 subscribers, it couldn't prevent the industry from seeing a net loss -- attributed to the slow and small but steady growth of cord cutters.
Calling this the "worst 12 month stretch ever," analysts Craig Moffett and Michael Nathanson also point out that the industry still isn't helping its case by refusing to seriously address skyrocketing prices:
"Of course, the fact that pay-TV revenue is still rising smartly is part of the problem. We have always argued that cord-cutting is an economic phenomenon, not a technological one. ... Pay-TV revenue growth reflects rapid pay-TV pricing growth and that is precisely the problem. Rapidly rising prices are squeezing lower-income consumers out of the ecosystem."
Moffett, who is a one-man news quote machine
for the telecom industry, has been much less bullish on cable in general since leaving Sanford Bernstein to start his own firm. His new firm has also noted that cable broadband growth is also running out of steam
“We continue to see steady gains to at least 80% penetration, but at current run rates that’s only three years away, and it must be noted that broadband is now nearly saturated among middle and higher income cohorts,” Moffett explained, noting that both Time Warner Cable and Cablevision Systems both reported broadband customer losses in the third quarter. “By contrast, every major TelCo save AT&T and Windstream gained subscribers, and all but Windstream and CenturyLink saw significant YoY improvements."
Not only is Moffett no longer bullish on cable at his new firm, he uncharacteristically did not use this week's news to pitch and promote cable metered billing -- something Moffett has been a fan of for years
. Regardless, don't feel too bad for cable: broadband growth is more modest but still strong, and they stand to make huge inroads in numerous broadband markets as AT&T and Verizon back away from massive swaths of territory
they aren't interested in upgrading, leaving cable with a much more potent monopoly in many areas.
In 2010 Dish shelled out $320 million for the Blockbuster brand
and after significant hype, launched a "new" Blockbuster streaming service that consumers complained was little more than Blockbuster's existing, underwhelming services
with a coat of Dish public relations paint. Heavily-promoted plans to use the Blockbuster brand as the foundation of a "Netflix killer" were dismantled, and Dish has had to be content in selling off the Blockbuster brick and mortar remnants ever since.
Time Warner Cable this week was reported to request the FCC's help in their feud with CBS over retransmission fees, which has resulted in millions of Time Warner Cable, Dish, DirecTV and Bright House customers being unable to view CBS content on TV or online
. Despite the fact that these fee battles have grown increasingly disruptive to paying consumers
, the FCC this week stated they won't intervene in the fight because they lack the authority, and crafting new rules governing such disputes would "take too long
Federal Communications Commission Acting Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn has said the agency lacks the authority to intervene, and rewriting rules for settling such disputes would take too long to end the current disruption, according to Paul Gallant, Washington-based managing director at Guggenheim Securities LLC.
The TV content blackout resulting from Time Warner Cable and CBS's retransmission fight
is impacting more than just Time Warner Cable customers. While Bright House Communications and Time Warner Cable are separate companies, Time Warner Cable is leading the negotiations for both companies (they both used to offer service under the Roadrunner brand), meaning that Bright House customers in our forums are complaining that they're not getting CBS channels like Showtime
either. Dish and DirecTV customers are being impacted by the fight as well
, given CBS has blocked Time Warner Cable customers from accessing CBS content online, and both satellite companies bundle Time Warner Cable broadband service in some markets.
While Dish's attempted takeover of Sprint and planned mobile LTE network build is anything but certain, the company is making other moves to satiate its urge to jump back into the broadband business. Dish has announced
that the company has struck a deal with regional wireless provider NTelos to provide fixed broadband services to Dish customers. While the company didn't get specific, the announcement makes it clear this fixed residential LTE service will be targeted specifically at rural regions where broadband options are poor.
NTelos currently offers service in portions of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Kentucky.
Making Dish network's already unlikely Clearwire takeover bid
even less likely, Clearwire this week announced that they will be taking more Sprint money after all. According to a company press release
, Clearwire will be getting an $80 million payment from Sprint on top of the $2.97-per-share existing offer by Sprint to acquire the rest of Clearwire. Dish had previously stated they'd withdraw their own $3.30-per-share counter-offer if Clearwire accepted that funding. Despite the fact the Sprint financing means the Dish deal is likely dead, Clearwire continues to insist they're engaged in ongoing negotiations with Dish.
Internal sources suggest that Sprint has approached Dish Network over a deal that would allow Dish to offer wireless service over Sprint's network, in exchange for Sprint getting access to Dish spectrum. According to a report by Bloomberg
, Sprint approached Dish about a deal, though Dish has acknowledged in recent weeks they've been talking with pretty much everyone
(including Google) about a wireless partnership.
Two new J.D. Power and Associates studies note that customers on pricier cable tiers claim they're more satisfied, while DSL users complain their connections aren't keeping pace with modern household bandwidth demands. story continues..
Dish continues to hint they need more spectrum if they're to seriously enter the wireless sector and compete with the likes of AT&T and Verizon Wireless. Speaking at the PCIA wireless infrastructure conference
, Dish boss Charlie Ergen stated the company needs more 40 MHz of 2 GHz S-band spectrum to compete, and reiterated that the company will likely have to partner with somebody else to make their wireless ambitions a reality.
Back in August story continues..
word leaked out that Dish was going to start selling a nationwide satellite broadband offering, and today the company confirmed the service is going live next week. According to a Dish press release
, the new dishNET service will launch October 1 offering speeds up to 10 Mbps downstream.
Speaking at CES this week Dish Network CEO Joe Clayton said the company is open to all options when it comes to finding partners for their nationwide LTE network ambitions, but that the company has no plans to sell the company or its assets
. Dish found itself at the center of rumors that the company could be sold to AT&T, as part of a press and Wall Street narrative insisting that AT&T need to buy somebody
on the heels of the failed T-Mobile deal -- just because. Dish says they can have their new LTE network (supposedly branded "Ollo
") three years after getting FCC regulatory approval.
Dish unveiled several announcements today at CES, including the fact they'll soon start offering bundled broadband services in conjunction with ViaSat -- courtesy of the recently-launched ViaSat 1. According to a company press announcement
, they'll be bundling ViaSat's new 12 Mbps down, 3 Mbps up service (which we'll have more details on tomorrow
) with satellite TV as part of bundles starting at $80 a month.
Dish has made it clear that in addition to developing a new video streaming service, the company is planning to make a major splash in the wireless broadband arena
, with plans to build an LTE-Advanced network under the umbrella of a subsidiary company named "Gamma." Digging through some regulatory filings this week Fierce Cable
found that Dish may be using the brand name "Ollo" for their new suite of mobile video, high-speed Internet and voice products. The company also recently paid $320 million to obtain the Blockbuster brand. As we've exclusively reported DirecTV is working on a fixed LTE residential service
, and it wouldn't be surprising if Dish was engaged in a similar effort.
Dish boss Charlie Ergen clearly isn't comfortable with his company's role as a simple satellite TV provider, so he's spending significant cash to get into the wireless and video streaming businesses. As Internet video evolves, traditional broadband ISPs have responded with Internet video services of their own -- and some have jacked up rates by imposing caps and overages to counter revenue losses. story continues..
writes in to note that Dish Network appears to be having a significant outage, potentially due to a troubled satellite. "Looks like Dish Network lost their 129 bird - hosts a lot of HD programs," writes the user.
After recently buying Denver-based Liberty Bell telecom, Dish network is poised to begin offering triple play DSL-based service starting next month, according to the Denver Business Journal
. Liberty Bell is a reseller of services that run over the formerly Qwest now CenturyLink network.
Back in 2003
, the state of Ohio decided to pass a law that required satellite companies pay a 5.5 percent sales tax, though the law excluded cable operators -- who pay local franchise fees ranging from 2 percent to 5 percent. The state has collected about $44 million a year since imposing the tax, and satellite operators have been fighting the tax every year since. DirecTV and Echostar sued to have the taxes overturned, arguing that the tax amounted to local cable protectionism, since cable operators had local physical presences. The Ohio Supreme Court this week voted 5-2 against Echostar and DirecTV
, Justice Terrence O'Donnell declaring the tax "does not favor in-state interests at the expense of out-of-state interests."
In March we discussed
how Dish Network was sued for violating the Federal Do Not Call list by the Federal government and four States (California, Illinois, Ohio and North Carolina), At the time, Dish proclaimed that an independent audit revealed no violations, while heavily inferring that any violations may have been the fault of a reseller. This week Dish Network decided to settle
, agreeing to pay $5.99 million to 46 different states for the company's marketing practices. The settlement resolves the states’ allegations that DISH Network:
•Refused to accept responsibility for the misconduct of its third-party retailers and installers;
•Made telemarketing calls to consumers in violation of No Call laws;
•Failed to disclose the complete terms and conditions of their customer agreements, including the availability of rebates, credits and free offers;
•Did not disclose that purchased or leased equipment was previously used and/or refurbished;
•Made reference to competitors’ price offers when the goods or services being compared were substantially different; and,
•Charged customer credit cards and debited bank accounts without providing adequate notice and obtaining appropriate authorization.
Back in 2003, Dish Network faced similar complaints by Colorado and 12 other states.
After Echostar was sued in 2004, a jury in 2006 ruled that Dish DVRs infringed upon a TiVo patent, and forced the company to pay TiVo $73.9 million in damages -- a ruling that was upheld in federal appeals court in January of 2008. Later on in 2008, the Supreme Court refused to hear the case -- essentially handing a victory to TiVo. Ultimately Echostar implemented a workaround, but a federal judge in Texas has awarded TiVo an additional $103 million in damages plus interest
after finding that Echostar violated an injunction and continued to violate patents after previous rulings. Echostar and Dish Network say they're going to appeal the ruling, and have already paid TiVo $105 million in damages.
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