Dish yesterday released its 2021 third quarter report which showed its satellite TV service lost a net of 13,000 customers with Dish’s satellite service losing 130,000 while its live streaming service, Sling TV, added a net of 117,000. At the end of the quarter, Dish had roughly 10.98 million subscribers with 8.42 million for Dish and 2.56 million for Sling.
Following the report’s release, Dish executives took questions from industry analysts and journalists on a variety of topics, including when Dish would settle its carriage dispute with the Tegna-owned 64 network affiliates, what’s the status of Dish’s negotiations for a new agreement with Sinclair, and whether Dish will ultimately merge with DIRECTV.
As usual, Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen was the dominant speaker during the event and here are the highlights of his remarks:
Ergen suggested that Dish is more inclined to reach a near-term settlement with Sinclair than Tegna.
The Dish chief acknowledged that Dish is “losing some customers” due to not carrying the 64 Tegna stations since October 6. But he said the losses are not as significant as the company thought they might be. The loss of Sinclair’s 100 plus local stations, which have remained on Dish while the companies operate on short-term contract extensions, would likely mean more subscriber defections than Tegna.
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“We know we’ll lose Tegna customers. They’re not up and we are losing some customers, but not as dramatic as it might have been in the past,” Ergen stated. “Sinclair is bigger than Tegna, and we’ve had a long-term relationship there. And…there’s more conversation around that. They’re bigger and would probably have a little bit more clout and scale in the marketplace.”
Dish and Sinclair are also discussing the return of Sinclair’s Bally Sports channels to the satcaster’s lineup, but he did not comment directly on that.
Ergen added that he doesn’t believe the negotiations between Dish and Tegna are “serious” now. Dish has filed a complaint with the FCC that charges Tegna with negotiating in ‘bad faith.’
“I don’t think there’s serious negotiation going on, really. I mean, I think we remain far apart,” Ergen said.
Update: Tegna files a counter-claim against Dish.
Ergen said his company will be less likely to agree to Tegna’s demands if the dispute extends beyond football season.
“We’ve got eight weeks of football left and then we’ll have lost the customers who can’t find football somewhere else and it remains such a huge (carriage fee) that we know where that ends up.” Ergen said. “The economic value to us is going down, not up right now.”
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Ergen reiterated that he believes DIRECTV and Dish will eventually merge, a prediction he has made frequently in the past. He cautioned that it may not occur soon due to uncertainty over whether federal regulators would approve it. But Ergen said that DIRECTV’s new management team, which now includes the private equity firm, TPG, likely agrees the merger makes sense.
“I think you talked about the industrial logic of putting the two video companies together. Again, I’ve said it many times, inevitable,” Ergen said. “I think that there’s been a change of control (over DIRECTV) in terms of from AT&T to TPG…I assume that they see the logic there as well. But that’s probably a better question for them. I think the big thing would be regulatory. And I think it’s prudent for anybody to wait until…the government has their antitrust team in place, which could happen maybe in the next month or two and see kind of how they’re looking at mergers and seeing kind of what they’re focused on and what they’re not focused on.”
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I dont mind if dish and directv merge as long as directv is is in control and not diish. I dont need to be worried and stressed about losing tv channels that i watch every couple of months! because ergan is not reliable!
Totally agree with the writer. Maybe Charlie will decide he loves his huge “spectrum” for 5G so much he’s willing to let go of the Video portion “Dish”?
If it goes the other way, kiss goodbye the best sports distribution co. in the country. He seems like a guy who couldn’t care 1 iota about it? We shall see.
Thanks to Tegna, the local bars with cable are doing a lot more business for football. CBS and News Nation are as good or better than NBC local channels. I hope Dish doesn’t back down to Tegna.
November 6, 2021
To Whomever will listen and Help Us;
I live in low income housing. We were using Resort for our TV Viewing and internet service until 3 months ago when a slick sales person sent management here an email offering “Free” cable for all residents of our building. The only service representative for our area lives 4 hours away.
Well it’s been almost 4 months now. Several of the residents still Do Not have the Basic service that was offered and several residents were told they would need to purchase New TVs to be able to receive Direct TV service. No one in our income level can do this and we told them as much. Next, the service man came back with an HD box like we had with Resort cable telling us we could rent them from Direct for $20.00 a month. Resort was renting them to us for less than $6.00 a month under the new laws. So Direct said maybe they could get them for us for “Free”. That was at the beginning of October 2021 and we still haven’t received any service.
Man it sucks to be Low Income indigent poverty poor. Big companies try to take advantage of you when you work and make a fair living wage but let something happen and suddenly your broke as broke can be, you see the real pond scum suckers come crawling out with their sucker mouths drawing in all they can off those of us who must and do count every last red cent we have just to make ends meet then you add bottom feeders like Direct TV to the muck and we people like me are just truly pure d screwed and no one cares (certainly not the sales person who sold our apartment management a load) they’ve already moved on to the next dope.
As my old law professor used to say, “Let The Buyer Beware.” At least he didn’t blow smoke up my skirt.
I feel sorry for our building management because they can’t do anything but send Direct Tv emails for communications and hope some one will respond.
My advice, never go for anything promised via email, always look the S.O.B IN the eyeball and get all the phone numbers they’ve got and if they tell you they only communicate via email… Tell The SOB GOOD BYE AND DONT LET THE DOOR HIT YOU ON YOUR WAY OUT!!
GOOD BYE JACK ASS DIRECT TV SHARK SALES PEOPLE!
HIT THE ROAD JACK!!
Then I’d be calling The FCC AND CONGRESS AND MY ATTORNEIES
Cause by now I would not be able to look the Residents here in the face, knowing that they’ve been screwed over once again in their lives.
Management Here does the very best they can for us, The Residents of The Towers
Broke, Down and Out in Hot Springs, Arkansas
Never heard of DirecTV having “Salesmen”.
DirecTV “Rents” Boxes for $ 7.00 a month.
How much did this “Slick” salesman want for the “Programming” ?
What happened to your “Internet” ?
DirecTV does NOT offer Internet
This, obviously, was NOT done by DirecTV… yes sounds like slick talked someone into something not theirs