Discussing his company's strategy for its new Sling TV programming tier that lets more than one member of a subscriber home access the service simultaneously, Sling CEO Roger Lynch said adding the coveted ESPN would simply drive the cost of the service up too high.
Offering a peak inside the complex bargaining for what is pay-TV's most closely watched ongoing carriage negotiation, Dish Network Chairman and CEO Charlie Ergen said "we'd scratch our head" it Viacom didn't want to be part of an OTT service like Dish's Sling TV.
Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen said that the company's spectrum holdings could be used to build out a 5G offering, but he cautioned that Dish is unlikely to build out its spectrum holdings to create a fifth nationwide wireless network in the United States.
In a move that perhaps signals his desire to focus more on the wireless business, Dish Network Chairman and CEO Charlie Ergen has placed day-to-day control of the pay-TV business into the hands of 20-year company veteran Erik Carlson, naming him president.
Charter Communications continues to work to obtain regulatory approval for its massive purchases of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, arguing that the resulting company-- dubbed New Charter-- would only service roughly 21 percent of all American broadband customers. Charter noted that figure is "less than Comcast and only slightly more than AT&T."
Note to executives for media companies about to engage Dish Network in carriage negotiations: When listening to Dish Chairman and CEO Charlie Ergen, brace yourself.
Dish Network's designated entities (DEs), in which Dish holds an 85 percent economic stake, agreed to give up around a third of the paired AWS-3 spectrum licenses they won earlier this year in an FCC auction-- mostly spectrum licenses covering New York, Chicago and Boston. Analysts from Jefferies noted that the companies' abandoned licenses dovetail with AT&T and T-Mobile coverage areas, but leave open the prospect of a transaction with Verizon.
While hedge funders, real-estate titans, hotel barons and oil tycoons dominate Forbes ' list of the 400 wealthiest Americans, the pay-TV sector is well-represented, too, with Charlie Ergen, John Malone and Charles Dolan ranking on the higher portion of the list.
While some investment analysts have predicted that carriage renewal talks between Dish Network and Viacom will break down, Evercore's Vijay Jayant thinks both sides have too much to lose to wage a protracted blackout battle.
Michael Hawkey, who has headed EchoStar's Sling Media unit and its Slingbox product line for the past two years, is leaving the company to join Rovi Corp.