Dish Network is America's #2 satellite broadcaster, but total subscriber numbers have been slowly declining since 2011, falling below 13.7m by the end of 2016. It is the main rival to local leader DirecTV, now owned by AT&T with around 21m subscribers. The business was founded in 1995 as a subsidiary of Echostar, a manufacturer of set-top boxes. It was spun out as an independent company in 2008, although the two groups maintain close links. The company has steadily broadened its range of services in recent years, but with mixed results. In 2011, Dish Network acquired entertainment rental retailer Blockbuster, which had filed for bankruptcy the previous year. However it failed to turn that business around and Blockbuster was eventually shut down in 2013. Dish launched a satellite broadband service in 2012, and has also accumulated large amounts of wireless spectrum with which it announced plans to launch its own national mobile service. To that end, Dish made opportunistic attempts in 2013 to interrupt the sale of mobile operator Sprint to Japanese company Softbank, and also to take control of Sprint's broadband subsidiary Clearwire. Both bids were rejected. At the end of 2014, Dish launched its own internet TV service under the name Sling TV. Echostar's founder Charlie Ergen remains chairman of Dish Network and controlling shareholder, but stepped down as CEO at the end of 2017 in favour of Erik Carlson, formerly COO. Dish Network reported sales of $15.1bn in 2016. Adbrands does not currently offer a business profile for this company but subscribers may access account assignments and contact information. The searchable account assignments database is available to full subscribers to Adbrands.net premium services. Click here to access Adbrands account assignments (subscribers only); or see here for information on how to subscribe.
Capsule checked 22nd February 2017
Adbrands Weekly Update 24th Nov 2016: The addressable TV deal flagged up by Sir Martin Sorrell at WPP's 3Q results conference has finally materialised. The British marketing group has teamed up with AT&T's DirecTV and rival satellite broadcaster Dish to acquire Invidi Technologies, the developer of a system that allows advertisers to target different ads to different audiences during the same commercial break, based on demographic data or customer habits. AT&T will have a controlling interest but the business will operate independently under the three companies' collective ownership.
Adbrands Weekly Update 25th Feb 2016: US media companies continued to take a hammering from investors after another collection of disappointing results. Satellite broadcaster Dish Network reported a shock net loss for the final quarter as a result of impairments and additional wireless spectrum purchases. Total subscriber numbers slipped slightly to just below 13.9m, as broadband streaming service SlingTV's gains (to around 600k users) failed to offset the loss of traditional satellite customers. Revenues were up slightly at $15.1bn.
Adbrands Weekly Update 22nd Jul 2015: Ads Of The Week: "Old TV Model". We shouldn't laugh at bullying but Camp & King's launch campaign for Sling TV, the streaming service from Dish Network, is irresistible. We also feel a bit sorry for all the chubby or ginger kids at casting agencies who got the call. "You got a job" "Great! What is it?" "School bully" "What!? Again?!?!"
Adbrands Weekly Update 4th June 2015: The Wall Street Journal breaks the news this morning that US satellite broadcaster Dish Network is in advanced talks to merge with T-Mobile USA, the part-public subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom. Such a deal could at last offer Telekom the prospect of a clean exit from the American market. For Dish too it would offer a brighter future, as well as a solid response to rival DirecTV's purchase by AT&T. Dish chairman Charlie Ergen has been seeking a path into the mobile sector for years. He owns substantial amounts of wireless spectrum but nothing at present to use it for. Under the structure currently being discussed, Ergen would remain chairman of the combined entity, with T-Mobile's John Legere as CEO. Financially, it would be a merger of equals, more or less, with Dish currently valued at $33bn and T-Mobile USA at $31bn.
Adbrands Weekly Update 9th Apr 2015: There was a clear warning this week to all would-be cable-cutters planning to abandon cable subscriptions for streaming services. Up to 2,000 customers of Dish Network's Sling TV web TV service suffered interruptions during last weekend's NCAA Final Four basketball play-offs. Dish apologised, and blamed the outages on "an unprecedented combination of new customer signups and high levels of viewership". Only a comparatively small number of customers were affected, but it was a salutary reminder of the potential fragility of web-based TV, compared to traditional TV or cable, if lots of people are all watching at the same time. The next big challenge comes this Sunday with HBO Now's season premiere of Game Of Thrones. The company has already begun to warn customers of potential buffering problems on its customer service page.
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