As company hoards spectrum, Dish's tough tactics extend to cable industry too

It's no secret that Charlie Ergen's Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) is an upstart in the wireless industry. In the past several years, the company has amassed a huge portfolio of spectrum licenses it could use to make a major play in the wireless industry. Further, Ergen's efforts to accumulate spectrum licenses has put Dish into direct conflict with a number of rivals--most recently, AT&T and Verizon complained of Dish's bidding strategy during the FCC's recent AWS-3 spectrum auction.

But Ergen's adversaries aren't confined to just the wireless industry. In the cable market, Ergen's Dish has tussled with the likes of Turner Networks, CBS and Fox News--and that's just in the past few months. In these battles, Dish has worked to negotiate content-licensing renewals, though the terms of such deals are often shrouded in secrecy. And the tactics Dish has used in these battles span the gamut, up to and including dropping disputed content from its satellite TV service.

But Dish isn't alone in working to negotiate better content-licensing terms. Other major players, including Sony, Walt Disney and Comcast, are also involved in these so-called pay-TV carriage wars. FierceWireless sister publication FierceCable has ranked the five biggest potential pay-TV carriage wars for this year--and, not surprisingly, Dish is involved in several. Check out the special report here.