DISH Network Corporation is an American television provider
based in Englewood, Colorado
It is the owner of the direct-broadcast satellite
provider DISH, also still commonly known as DISH Network, and the over-the-top IPTV
service Sling TV
. DISH also operates DISH Wireless to offer mobile wireless service, currently offering prepaid service to 9.055 million customers with the purchase of Boost Mobile
on July 1, 2020 through the Boost brand. DISH intends to offer postpaid service as well in the future. The company has approximately 16,000 employees.
In January 2008, EchoStar Communications Corporation, which was founded by Charlie Ergen
as a satellite television equipment distributor in 1980, changed its name to DISH Network Corporation and spun off
its technology arm as a new company named EchoStar Corporation
. The company had begun using DISH Network as its consumer brand in 1996,
after the launch of its first satellite, EchoStar I
, in December 1995. That launch marked the beginning of its subscription
Joseph Clayton became president and chief executive officer of the company in June 2011, while Charlie Ergen remained chairman.
Clayton remained in the position until March 31, 2015 when he retired leaving Ergen to resume the post. Ergen has said diversifying and updating technology for the company will be a high priority, with an expectation that, over the coming decade, the company will provide internet, video, and telephone service for both home and mobile applications. In December 2017, DISH Network announced that Ergen would step down and be replaced by Erik Carlson.
, the company provided services to 13.7 million television and 580,000 broadband subscribers.
Founding and early growth
DISH Network began operations on March 4, 1996, as a service of EchoStar.
EchoStar was formed in 1980 by its chairman
and chief executive officer, Charlie Ergen, along with colleagues Candy Ergen and Jim DeFranco, as a distributor of C-band
satellite television systems. In 1987, EchoStar applied for a direct-broadcast satellite broadcast license
with the FCC and was granted access to orbital slot 119° west longitude
On December 7, 2007, EchoStar announced it would spin off its technology and infrastructure assets into a separate company under the EchoStar name, after which the remainder of the company would be renamed DISH Network Corporation. The spun-off EchoStar began trading on January 3, 2008.
Acquisitions and expansion
In 2011, DISH Network (DISH, an acronym for DIgital Sky Highway) spent over $3 billion in acquisitions of companies in bankruptcy,
which The Motley Fool
's Anders Bylund described as "a veritable buying rampage in the bargain bin." This includes the April 6, 2011, purchase of Blockbuster Inc.
in a bankruptcy auction in New York, agreeing to pay $322 million in cash and assume $87 million in liabilities and other obligations for the nationwide video-rental company. DISH Network also acquired the defunct companies DBSD and Terrestar
DISH Network also made a bid to purchase Hulu
in October 2011, but Hulu's owners chose not to sell the company. There was also speculation that DISH Network might purchase Sprint Nextel
. In 2013, DISH made a bid for both companies. CEO Charles Ergen plans on adding wireless internet and mobile video services that can compete with Netflix
and cable companies.
About the new markets, Ergen said, "Given the assets we've been accumulating, I don't think it's hard to see we're moving in a different direction from simply pay-TV, which is a market that's becoming increasingly saturated."
DISH Network put its Blockbuster acquisition to work by making available DISH Movie Pack for DISH Network subscribers and Sling TV
for non-DISH Network subscribers. Blockbuster also has agreements that allow it to receive movies 28 days before Netflix and Redbox
which could encourage customers to use these services.
DISH Network also plans on offering high-speed internet. The company plans a hybrid satellite/terrestrial mobile broadband service. In 2011, it petitioned the FCC
to combine the S-Band spectrum it acquired from DBSD and Terrestar, and combine this spectrum with LTE
. Unlike LightSquared
, DISH's spectrum has minimal risk of disrupting Global Positioning System
At the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show
, DISH Network announced a corporate rebranding, under which the company would publicly refer to itself as just "DISH" rather than "DISH Network".
After changing the position of a satellite orbital position from being over Mexico to Brazil in 2011, DISH Network sought companies that could make a deal, among them Telefónica
. However, nothing ever came of this, and DISH decided to enter the country itself. According to the Brazilian Agency of Telecommunications
(Anatel), they awaited the authorization of the application. In June 2019, nonetheless, DISH TV accepted to resign its satellite exploration rights assigned to EchoStar and thus ending the possibility of entering the Brazilian market.
On July 26, 2019, DISH announced it had reached an agreement with T-Mobile
to sell Boost Mobile
and Virgin Mobile
, Sprint's prepaid businesses, for $1.4 billion to DISH Network. They will also sell DISH $3.6 billion of 800 MHz spectrum, Sprint's entire 800 MHz portfolio. DISH customers will be able to use the New T-Mobile Network for seven years. DISH and T-Mobile are currently negotiating the lease of 20,000 cell sites and hundreds of retail stores being decommissioned by the New T-Mobile. The deal for the purchase of all of Sprint's prepaid businesses, including Boost, officially closed on July 1, 2020.
On May 20, 2019, EchoStar announced
that it had reached an agreement with DISH to transfer the portion of that company's business which managed and provided broadcast satellite services, referred to as the BSS (Broadcast Satellite Services) business, to DISH in order to concentrate on broadband services and other initiatives. The transaction was completed on September 10, 2019.
Disputes and lawsuits
DISH and its independent dealers have faced criticism and fines for their practices, including fines around telemarketing tactics and failure to disclose fees.
DISH has been sued and countersued dozens of times. DISH argues that effective litigation is important to corporate operations. One such lawsuit was DISH's use of their Hopper DVR
to make it easy for viewers to erase commercials.
Removal of regional sports programming
Dish Network has always refused to carry some of the higher-priced regional sports network
s, most notably YES Network
and Spectrum SportsNet
, both of which have never been available on Dish. However, in July 2019 Dish removed the entire slate of Fox Sports Networks
channels. This was the beginning of a trend with Altitude
being removed in August and NBC Sports Chicago
in October of that year. On April 1, 2021, Dish removed the remaining NBC Sports Regional Networks
and the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network
, leaving only four regional sports networks available, three of which are oddly owned by AT&T
, the parent company of competitor DirecTV. Dish Network president Brian Neylon commented that "The current RSN model is fundamentally broken,” stating that he was in favor of offering the networks as an a la carte
Services and devices
DISH's main service is satellite television. Its offerings are similar to other satellite and cable companies. Viewers can choose from a series of service bundles, paying more money for more channels. A la carte programming is available, however limited other than premium channels. The company is currently working on diversifying its offerings. With its purchase of Blockbuster LLC
, it now owns the Blockbuster trademarks and has used its intellectual property agreement to offer streaming and mail-order video services.
On September 27, 2012, DISH Network announced a satellite broadband service called DishNET, aimed at rural areas.
In 2019, DISH entered an agreement as part of the Sprint
merger in which DISH would acquire Sprint's prepaid wireless businesses, including Boost Mobile
As part of this agreement, DISH became the 4th-largest major wireless carrier in the United States.
After the merger was approved by the Justice Department
, DISH announced plans to "deploy a facilities-based 5G broadband network capable of serving 70% of the U.S. population by June 2023."
On July 1, 2020, DISH officially purchased Boost Mobile from T-Mobile for $1.4 billion. With this purchase it officially launched its wireless business, DISH Wireless, LLC, offering prepaid service through the Boost brand as an MVNO on the T-Mobile network.
DISH stated intentions to offer branded postpaid service in the future with the build out of their own network.
DISH also intends to have the first standalone, 5G
-only network in the United States.
OnTech Smart Services
DISH launched the direct-to-consumer smart home technology
brand OnTech Smart Services in 2019; initially available in 11 metropolitan areas, the brand offers smart home devices and installation services.
DISH Cares was launched in 2014 and focuses on community engagement
, and providing services following disasters.
The company has engaged in disaster relief efforts, including after Hurricanes Katrina
, and Maria
While for years DISH Network has used standard MPEG-2
for broadcasting, the addition of bandwidth-intensive HDTV in a limited-bandwidth world has called for a change to an H.264/MPEG-4 AVC
system. DISH Network announced as of February 1, 2006, that all new HDTV channels would be available in H.264 format only, while maintaining the current lineup as MPEG-2. DISH Network intends to eventually convert the entire platform to H.264 in order to provide more channels to subscribers. In 2007, DISH Network reduced the resolution of 1080-line channels from 1920x1080 to 1440x1080. Reducing horizontal resolution and/or data rate of HD video is known as HD Lite
and is practiced by other TV providers as well.
Both a standard receiver and a receiver with built-in digital video recorder
(DVR) were available to subscribers. The DISH Network ViP722 HD DVR (Record up to 350 hours of standard-definition (SD), up to 55 hours of high-definition (HD)) replacement to the ViP622 has received generally positive reviews from CNET
and others. These Set Top Boxes (STBs) allow for HD on the Primary TV and SD on the secondary TV (TV2) without a secondary box on TV2.
Receivers and devices
Earlier satellite dishes
DISH Network's first satellite antenna was simply called the "DISH Network" dish. It was retroactively named the "DISH 300" when legal and satellite problems forced delays of the forthcoming DISH 500 systems. It uses one LNB
to obtain signals from the 119°W orbital location, and was commonly used as a second dish to receive additional high-definition or international programming from either the 148°W or 61.5°W orbital locations. The 119°W slot is one of two primary orbital locations, the other being 110°W, that provide core services.
After EchoStar obtained the broadcasting assets of a failed joint venture between ASkyB and MCI WorldCom
, it had more than doubled its capacity by adding 28 transponders at the 110°W orbital location. Since EchoStar also owned the adjacent 119°W orbital location it developed the DISH 500 to receive the signals of both orbital locations using one dish and an innovative dual-LNB
assembly. Although the new 20-inch DISH 500 was slightly larger than the then-current 18-inch DISH 300 and DirecTV dishes it had the distinct advantage of obtaining signals from EchoStar's two adjacent satellite locations for a theoretical 500-channel capacity. The DISH 500, as a result, provided very large capacity for local-into-local service, nationwide programming, and business services. In order to migrate existing customers to DISH 500, DISH Network provided value-added channels in addition to local channels that could only be received with the DISH 500 and newer systems. Some of the channels exclusive to these newer systems were H2
, Planet Green
, PBS Kids Sprout
and Comedy Central
Tailgater is a portable satellite antenna; the tailgater can be purchased as a standalone device for $350. The Tailgater is now being supported by a Wally receiver, to replace the still supported 211k model. Customers only need pay for the period of time where the receiver is active on the account, monthly cost for a Vip211k or Wally is $7 per month, if the receiver is the only one on the account, there is no charge. It weighs ten pounds, is protected from weather, and automatically searches for a signal. The only satellites that are currently compatible with the Tailgater are at DISH's 119 (SD/HD TV), 110 (SD/HD TV), and 129 (SD/HD TV) orbital slots.
The Wally is a solo-receiver without a built in digital video recorder (DVR).
Hopper and Joey
Hopper is a line of multi-tuner set-top boxes first introduced in 2012; they are digital video recorders that can be networked with accompanying "Joey" set-top boxes for multi-room access to recordings. DISH Network subsequently introduced updated versions of the Hopper, including Hopper with Sling (which adds integrated placeshifting
capabilities), and the Hopper 3, which features 4K
support and 16 tuners. Hopper supports a voice-activated remote,
as well as Amazon Echo
and Google Home
DISH Anywhere is DISH's subscriber-only streaming video service. The DISH Anywhere app combines Sling
broadcast technology and internet to bring subscribers DISH content wherever they are. It also pairs with DISH On Demand, a library that has over 80,000 movies and shows.
As of late 2018, HBO
are no longer available for DISH customers due to Contract disputes.
In May 2012, DISH launched DISHWorld, a subscription-based over-the-top streaming IPTV
service, as an app on Roku
devices, offering access to over 50 international television channels via broadband
In 2014, DISH Network began to reach carriage deals with broadcasters for a new over-the-top service that would be aimed towards cord cutter
s as a low-cost alternative to traditional pay television.
On January 5, 2015, DISH Network officially unveiled Sling TV
, an over-the-top IPTV service designed to complement subscription video on-demand services such as Hulu and Netflix.
Some broadcasters have been hesitant about over-the-top services such as Sling TV, showing concern that they may undermine their carriage deals with larger conventional cable
and Internet TV providers. Time Warner initially noted that the carriage of its channels on the service was only for a "trial" basis, while both Time Warner's CEO Jeffrey Bewkes
and an analyst from the firm Macquarie Capital
disclosed that current contract language in DISH's OTT carriage deals with the service's content distributors would cap the number of subscribers that the service is allowed to have at any given time to 5 million. Neither DISH Network or its content providers have confirmed any such cap.
, the service has 2.4 million subscribers.
Until 2019, most of the satellites used by DISH Network were owned and operated by EchoStar Corporation. DISH frequently moves satellites among its many orbiting slots this list may not be accurate. Refer to Lyngsat and DISH Channel Chart for detailed satellite information.
Dish Wireless LLC is an American wireless network provider
. It is a wholly owned subsidiary
of Dish Network. Dish Wireless was founded on July 1, 2020. Its headquarters are located in Littleton, Colorado
. Dish Wireless is the fourth-largest wireless carrier in the United States
, with 9.055 million subscribers as of the end of Q4 2020.
Dish Wireless provides wireless voice and data services in the United States under the Boost Mobile
brand and will provide services under its own brand after its network is built. Dish Wireless is currently using T-Mobile
's network for 7 years due to an agreement between Dish and T-Mobile. Dish Wireless is in the process of building their own 5G
network which will be the first virtualized standalone 5G broadband network in the United States. Dish is committed on covering 70% of Americans with 5G by the end of June 2023.
Dish Wireless acquired Boost Mobile
on July 1, 2020,
on August 1, 2020, and announced plans to acquire Republic Wireless
on March 8, 2021.
Radio Frequency Spectrum Chart
* Bell Satellite TV
, formerly Dish Network Canada
* Dish México
(subsidiary Dish HD Asia serves China and Taiwan)
* List of multiple-system operators
* List of United States pay television channels
Dish NewsroomFierce Wireless News
List of DISH Network Channels
Category:Direct broadcast satellite services
Category:Companies based in Englewood, Colorado
Category:American companies established in 1980
Category:Telecommunications companies established in 1980
Category:Mass media companies established in 1980
Category:Companies listed on NASDAQ
Category:Internet service providers of the United States