Motley Fool  Jul 10  Comment 
Internet-connected drones, smartphone plans for Prime members, and a smarter Alexa assistant all top the list.
SeekingAlpha  Jul 10  Comment 
Motley Fool  Jul 8  Comment 
One research group estimates the trend will accelerate over the next five years.
Forbes  Jul 7  Comment 
Amazon and Dish are in partnership talks, which makes more sense than it would appear at first glance.
Wall Street Journal  Jul 6  Comment 
For years, Dish Network has sought out partnerships with just about every major telecom company. Now, a somewhat surprising potential partner has emerged: Amazon.com.
Forbes  Jun 28  Comment 
Recently, Dish Network launched Dish Music, a mobile app which allows customers to sync music throughout their home via a central control. This app uses Play-Fi technology to allow customers to stream music from services such as Spotify via their...
Cellular News  Jun 28  Comment 
DISH is transforming the hotel industry's ability to provide guests with premium in-room television entertainment. Today at HITEC Toronto, DISH unveiled EVOLVE®, a 4K-capable Android TVTM set-back box that seamlessly...
Cellular News  Jun 22  Comment 
DISH today launched DISH Music, a mobile app powered by DTS Play-Fi technology that gives customers the ability to sync music throughout their home using one central control. This new feature uses TV audio systems connected to...
Motley Fool  Jun 19  Comment 
Despite increases in cord-cutting and competition, Comcast is well-positioned for the future.
Benzinga  Jun 12  Comment 
After Benzinga Pro exclusively reported a potential merger/partnership between DISH Network Corp (NASDAQ: DISH) and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), Matthew Harrigan, a Wunderlich analyst, has updated his rating to Sell with a $54 price target on...


DISH Networks (NASDAQ: DISH) is the third largest provider of paid-TV in the United States and has a customer base of approximately 14.133 million.[1] The industry faces challenges from traditional cable companies like Comcast, Cablevision, and Time Warner Cable which are not only much larger than their satellite competitors but also have the capacity to offer bundled services including phone and high speed Internet. As a result, cable companies generally receive significantly more revenue per subscriber per month (ARPU).

Dish customers have access to hundreds of video and audio channels, HD channels, international channels, state-of-the-art interactive TV applications, and award-winning HD and DVR technology. The Company provides programming, which includes more than 280 basic video channels, 60 Sirius Satellite Radio music channels, 30 movie channels, 35 regional and specialty sports channels, 2,500 local channels, 220 Latino and international channels, and 50 channels of pay-per-view content. As of December 31, 2009, the Company provided local channel coverage to markets covering about 97% of United States television households. In addition, it provided high definition (HD) local channels to markets representing approximately 93% of United States television households. [1]

Company Overview

Dish's programming content is delivered to programming centers by fiber or satellite and processed, compressed, encrypted and then uplinked to satellites for delivery to consumers. Dish subscribers receive programming via in-home equipment that includes a small satellite dish, digital set-top receivers, and remote controls. Some advanced receiver models feature DVRs, HD capability, and dual-tuners which allow independent viewing on two separate televisions. Some receiver models are Internet-protocol compatible which allows consumers to view movies and other content on their televisions via the Internet and a broadband connection.

Business Growth

FY 2010 (ended December 31, 2010)[2]

  • Net revenue increased 8.4% to $12.64 billion.
  • Net income increased 54.9% to $985 million.

Trends and Forces

Satellite companies have difficulty in competing with cable companies on the basis of bundling

The entire satellite television market is facing stiff competition from other companies that are able to bundle telephone services, high-speed internet, and entertainment into one package. This coupled with cable companies’ already stronger ability to provide local and other programming in a larger number of geographic areas makes it very difficult for DISH to expand their subscriber base and effectively compete. DISH has not been ignorant of these developments, and they partnered with AT&T to provide high speed internet services in certain markets. AT&T Inc. now offers DISH Network programming bundled with broadband, telephone and other services. However, AT&T and other telephone companies such as Verizon have begun laying high speed optic fiber lines that are capable of transmitting video services bundled with traditional phone and high speed internet directly to millions of homes, making them as much a competitor as a partner.

DISH faces significant legal exposure to two key legal issues

The first is its purported copyright infringement of TiVo (TIVO) by creating and selling its own digital video recorder (DVR). A Texas jury concluded DISH infringed on certain TiVo patents through the creation and distribution of their own DVR devices.[3]This was appealed and during January 2008, the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the Texas jury verdict that certain of DISH’s DVRs, infringed a patent held by TiVo. DVR is an increasingly popular device, and if subsequent appeals are overturned, it would be a huge blow to DISH, who has thus far spent $128 million in legal fees. A total of $105 million was also given to TiVo in October 2008, when the Supreme Court denied Dish Network's request for Certiorari.[4]

The second legal issue confronting DISH is the expiration of the Cable Act in 2007. The Cable Act prohibits exclusive contracting practices with cable affiliated programmers, from which DISH purchases a large percentage of their programming. The Cable Act expired in September 2007, but was extended for another five-year period.[5] Cable companies have appealed the FCC’s decision, and this litigation is pending. The expiration of this act could adversely affect DISH’s ability to negotiate and obtain high quality television programming.

Satellites are risky business

Satellites are vulnerable to solar storms, and accidents in space that cannot be repaired. The satellites that DISH launches to broadcast have a 12-year lifespan, and spare solar arrays, but if 8 of the 104 solar arrays malfunction or breakdown then the entire satellite is offline. Launching a replacement is expensive, and has its own risks in takeoff. Certain launch vehicles that may be used by us have either unproven track records or have experienced launch failures in the past. Currently DISH has 12 satellites in orbit, of which 5 are owned by the company itself while the rest are leased from third parties.[6]


DISH faces competitors in the satellite television market and in the home entertainment sector at large. The DirecTV Group (DTV) is its main competitor in the satellite television market, and DirecTV has several advantages over DISH such as larger size and financial resources as well as greater penetration in the United States. DirecTV is sold in more electronic retailing stores than DISH, and as a result DISH must spend more on advertising to spread the word of its existence than DirecTV. DirecTV is also in the process of launching HDTV. DISH is also doing this but is behind DirecTV. However, both of these companies, and the satellite television market in general, face stiff competition from the firmly entrenched cable television providers. The resources, size, and bundling capabilities of these companies pose stiff competition to the satellite television market. [7]However, their key advantage at the moment is their greater HDTV penetration rates, and capabilities. If there is a shift in preferences of consumers to HDTV, then cable television providers are the best position to meet that demand.

Satellite Entertainment Competitors: These companies offer and provide satellite based entertainment to households.

  • DirecTV: DirecTV is a provider of digital television entertainment in the United States and Latin America. The Company operates two direct-to-home (DTH) operating segments: DIRECTV U.S. and DIRECTV Latin America.

Cable Television Competitors: These companies provide clients with the cable television. These are some of the larger providers of cable entertainment, but there are many local companies as well.

  • Time Warner Cable:Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC) is a cable operator in the United States, with systems located mainly in five geographic areas: New York State (including New York City), the Carolinas, Ohio, southern California (including Los Angeles) and Texas. TWC offers video, high-speed data and voice services over its broadband cable systems to residential and commercial customers. In addition, TWC sells advertising to a variety of national, regional and local advertising customers.
  • Comcast: Comcast Corporation is a provider of video, high-speed Internet and phone services (cable services), offering a variety of entertainment, information and communications services to residential and commercial customers.


  1. 1.0 1.1 DISH 2010 10-K pg. 1  
  2. DISH 2010 10-K pg. 1  
  3. DISH 2009 10-Q1 pg. 46  
  4. DISH 2008 10-K pg. F52  
  5. DISH 2008 10-K pg. 13  
  6. DISH 2009 10-Q1 pg. 11  
  7. DISH Annual Report 2007, Item 1A, pg. 21
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