Internet TV eclipsing satellite services, says Ergen

5 March 2017 by Steve Blum
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When one of satellite television’s great visionaries says that over-the-top (OTT) Internet delivery is the future of video, it’s worth taking him at his word. Charlie Ergen is the chairman and CEO of DISH Network, and the founder of EchoStar, a pioneering satellite TV manufacturer and distributor during the big dish days of the 1980s. According to a story by Daniel Frankel in FierceCable, Ergen believes that traditional linear television, the kind that DISH, DirecTv and cable companies sell, needs an overhaul if it’s going to remain a viable product…

Speaking to investment analysts and reporters during Dish’s fourth-quarter earnings call…Ergen said Dish had been “dragged into” this brand positioning by competitors such as AT&T’s DirecTV Now and Sony PlayStation Vue.


Is it crazy to hope a broadband merger could increase competition?

4 May 2014 by Steve Blum
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For the umpteenth time, AT&T is said to be in talks to buy a major U.S. direct broadband satellite (DBS) company, in this case DirecTv. The first time I heard this rumor was in 1995, when DirecTv and the company I was working for, U.S. Satellite Broadband (later merged together), did a joint marketing deal with what is now AT&T (but was SBC back then).

In fact, SBC’s later acquisition of the business and brand was partly due to the failed cable ambitions of the old AT&T.… More