TV Answer Man, I liked your article on how the new DIRECTV can succeed in a streaming world. But what about Dish? Let’s say Dish and DIRECTV don’t merge, is there a way that Dish can still survive in that world? Or will they have to go out of business? — Terry, Statesville, North Carolina.
Terry, I agree with Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen that a merger between his company and DIRECTV is ‘inevitable.” In fact, it’s likely to happen in the next 12-18 months. And I think that by consolidating, the satellite TV operator left standing will enjoy a profitable future for several more years thanks to cost savings and industry leverage created by the merger.
But let’s say the merger doesn’t happen. Can Dish survive in that scenario?
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The satellite TV service still has more than eight million subscribers and it remains profitable in part due to shrewd money management from Ergen and his team. But one of Dish’s main strengths — offering premium TV service to rural residents who can’t stream because of limited Internet access — could become a weakness in the next 3-5 years. The Biden administration, and private companies (including Dish’s 5G business), are moving fast to bring high-speed Internet to even the most remote areas of the country. And once that’s accomplished, many current Dish subscribers will be content to purchase a few streaming services for under $50 a month rather than pay $100 or more a month for Dish’s lineup.
Ergen, of course, has known this is coming, and was the first to launch a multi-channel streaming service, Sling TV, in January 2015. The live streamer now has 2.5 million subscribers, but has the potential to accumulate considerably more.
As for the satellite side of the company, Ergen will need to get even more creative in packaging channels, a difficult task with programmers demanding more and more money for their content. But Dish will need to compete with the live streamers in terms of offering thinner lineups at lower prices.
The risk in doing that, however, is that potential customers will see less reason to get a satellite dish. (We are already seeing that with Dish subscribers complaining about the satcaster not carrying regional sports channels, and other niche networks.). It’s not like Dish has a weapon like the NFL Sunday Ticket to keep subscribers from defecting.
Bottom line: Once the rural areas start to become less attractive for Dish, the company will likely be forced to drop the satellite service and focus exclusively on marketing Sling TV. This is why Ergen knows he will need that DIRECTV merger at some point. Otherwise, Dish will become a streaming/Internet company. Exclusively.
Terry, hope that makes sense. Happy viewing, and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann
Commercial TV will keep DIRECTV around for an while high-speed Internet may or may not help and caps will make steaming 8-16 HD feeds at the same time an joke.
Also what steaming service is going to have Commercial TV (each site is billed based on it’s local size and need to enforce blackouts) Also Commercial events PPV are billed on size of the location.
Need real local feeds as well not watch feeds and can’t have it where you need 5-6 different services to get what you get now with directv or dish.
Also boxes need to work with matrix switches (may need HDCP bypass) and steaming boxes need e-net (wifi can’t keep with that meany feeds)
CAN DISH SURVIVE ?
will SATELLLITE TV be a big money maker into the future for them ?
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO WAY !
Will AT&T and DIRECTV survive ?
AT&T is soon to be HISTORY (ie bankrupt) is SELLING it’s worthless “acquisitions” to ANY suckers they can find and STILL can’t pay all the bills !
AT&T is OVER and OUT VERY SOON and DIRECTV is FINISHED for GOOD SOONER then you think.
IF your “COUCH POTATO ASS” needs “SALLITE TV” to stay alive I have BAD NEWS for you…
SATELLITE TV IS.
IS is NEVER EVER coming back any more then the DIAL TELEPHONE will…
Better GET USED TO IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Swann, You forgot to mention Dish Networks build out of it’s 5G Network which should allow it to contribute to the high speed national build out not only for cell phone service but also for broadband particularly in rural areas. I see Dish network well positioned with or without DirecTV.
The focus is on the satellite TV business, not Dish as a company.
The real question is if/and when Charlie gets his little hands on Directv will he keep the one thing that keeps people watching their Dish. SPORTS!
Beside NFL Sunday Ticket, they do have the best all around sports packages on TV. I like American Football but I don’t subscibe to the Package but I do have the full Regional Sports Pack and the NBA and MLB. There isn’t any source that can give you that!
Charlie has proven that sports isn’t his thing i.e. The Regionals he’s dropped!
That will be the the only thing that would keep any of us using the Satelite.
The sat/cable providers need to get on the al a carte train or they are going to be left behind. The days of one size fits all programming are over. I get clear HD programming through my smart TV and streaming stick and just mostly pay for the categories of content I want. Sure, occasionally I miss out on some sports telecasts that I had with my cable plan, but the $100+ I save each month is an acceptable trade off. I think with the buildout of high speed internet, a lot more will be in the same camp. The RSN’s and others better have contingency plans ready for this inevitability.
Dish Network is dead. You cannot even pay your pay using online anymore.