Dish Network (often stylized as DISH Network, or just simply DISH)
is an American-based direct-broadcast satellite service provider. The
company provides satellite television, audio programming, and
interactive television services to commercial and residential
customers in the United States. As of November 2016[update], the
company provided services to 13.7 million television and 580,000
broadband subscribers. The company has approximately 16,000
employees. The company is headquartered in Meridian, Colorado,
though the postal designation of nearby Englewood,
Colorado is used in
the corporate mailing.
1.1 Founding and early growth
1.2 Acquisitions and expansion
2 Services and Devices
3 Technical information
3.1 Broadcast technology
High-definition television (HDTV)
3.2 Receivers and devices
3.2.1 Satellite antennas
3.2.2 Earlier satellite dishes
3.2.3 Higher capacity satellite dishes
220.127.116.11 Hopper with Sling
3.3.1 Sling TV
3.4 Satellite fleet
4 Criticisms and controversies
4.2 Telemarketing violations
4.3 Hidden fees
4.4.2 Frequency acquisition subsidies
4.4.3 Off-the-job marijuana use
TiVo patent lawsuit
4.4.6 Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott
4.5 Related party transactions
4.6 Investor relations
4.7 Carriage disputes involving Dish
4.7.1 AMC Networks
18.104.22.168 Remarks on rural viewers
4.7.4 Hearst Television
4.7.5 Turner Networks
5 See also
7 External links
In January 2008,
Dish Network was spun off from its former parent
company EchoStar, which was founded by
Charlie Ergen as a satellite
television equipment distributor in 1980. The company began using
Dish Network as its consumer brand in March 1997.
after the successful launch of its first satellite,
EchoStar I, in
December 1995. That launch marked the beginning of its
subscription television services, and
EchoStar has since launched
numerous satellites, with nine owned and leased satellites in its
fleet as of January 2013.
EchoStar continues to be the primary
technology partner to Dish Network.
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
will step down and be replaced by Erik Carlson.
Founding and early growth
Dish Network logo from March 4, 1996-April 2000.
Dish Network logo from April 2000-2006.
Dish Network logo from August 16, 2005-January 31, 2012.
Dish Network officially began operations on March 4, 1996, as a
service of EchoStar. EchoStar, a precursor to Dish Network, 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
Federal Communications Commission
Federal Communications Commission and was granted access to orbital
slot 119° west longitude in 1992.
EchoStar purchased the broadcasting assets of a satellite
broadcasting joint venture of
News Corporation and MCI Worldcom,
called ASkyB (for American Sky Broadcasting, named after News Corp's
BSkyB service in Britain); the two companies had nearly merged (which
Dish Network being renamed Sky) before it was called off
due to Charlie Ergen's clashes with News Corp. executives. With this
EchoStar obtained 28 of the 32 transponder licenses in the
110° West orbital slot, more than doubling existing continental
United States broadcasting capacity at a value of $682.5 million; some
of the other assets were picked up by rival PrimeStar, which was sold
DirecTV in 1999. The acquisition (which also included an uplink
center in Gilbert, Arizona) inspired the company to introduce a multi
satellite system called Dish 500, theoretically capable of receiving
more than 500 channels on one Dish. In the same year, Echostar,
partnering with Bell Canada, launched
Dish Network Canada.
Acquisitions and expansion
Dish Network spent over $3 billion in acquisitions of
companies in bankruptcy, which 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
Hulu on October 2011, but Hulu's owners chose not to sell
the company. There was also speculation that
Dish Network might
Sprint Nextel or Clearwire. In 2013, Dish made a bid for
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
Dish Network subscribers. Blockbuster also has agreements that
allow it to receive movies 28 days before
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
At the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show,
Dish Network announced that
they would be dropping the “Network” and going solely by Dish
(along with a new logo) in their marketing. Dish Network's parent
company will remain "Dish Network".
After changing the position of a satellite orbital position from being
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
Brazilian Agency of Telecommunications
Brazilian Agency of Telecommunications (Anatel), they await the
authorization of the application.
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.
In May 2012, the
American Customer Satisfaction Index ranked Dish
second among American television providers.
See also: Satellite
On September 27, 2012,
Dish Network announced a satellite broadband
service called DishNET, aimed at rural areas.
While for years
Dish Network has used standard
broadcasting, the addition of bandwidth-intensive HDTV in a
limited-bandwidth world has called for a change to an H.264/MPEG-4 AVC
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) are 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.
Both a standard receiver and a DVR (digital video recorder) are
available to subscribers for an upgrade fee. Beginning in January
Dish Network charges $7.00 as a DVR service fee, which covers
cost of licensing EPG (electronic program guide) listings from Rovi
Corporation, with the
TV Guide logo displayed on listings screens to
signify the partnership.
High-definition television (HDTV)
In January 1999, the company released the industry's first
high-definition television (HDTV) tuner. In August 2003, the company
EchoStar IX, the first satellite equipped with commercial Ka
band payload for broadband service over the United States. This led
the company in 2004 to be the first satellite TV service to offer
local channels to all 50 states. In that year, the company also
introduced the nation's first interactive TV multiple picture-in
picture application for the Olympic Games, offering coverage from
multiple channels at once. This year the company also acquired its 10
In January 2005,
EchoStar bought the broadcasting assets of the
troubled HDTV satellite provider Voom, including its Rainbow 1
satellite co-located with
EchoStar 3 at 61.5° West. On April 29,
EchoStar announced that it would expand its HDTV programming by adding
the first 10 of 21 original
Voom channels and mirror the channels on a
Dish Network added
CNN HD in Spanish along with other
packages in its Latino HD lineup.
On January 1, 2008, the company completed its spinoff of its
technology and set-top box business into a separate publicly traded
company, Echostar Corporation ("EchoStar"), effectively splitting the
EchoStar into two separate businesses. Dish Network
Corporation, the larger of the two resulting companies, focuses on
programming, service and marketing of satellite television, while
EchoStar Corporation runs a majority of the satellite fleet and other
signal infrastructure. While neither company has any ownership in the
other, the majority of the voting power of the shares in both
companies is owned by Charlie Ergen.
Receivers and devices
Dish Network offers different types of satellite receiving equipment
for obtaining signals from its diverse satellite fleet. Most of their
consumer boxes are manufactured by
Sanmina-SCI Corporation to EchoStar
specifications. Prior to the December 2001 merger of SCI Systems and
Dish Network receivers were produced at factories in
Huntsville, Alabama and Fountain, Colorado. Currently,[when?] receiver
assembly takes place in Guadalajara,
Mexico and India.
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 ethnic 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
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.
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 provides value-added channels in
addition to local channels that can only be received with the Dish 500
and newer systems. Some of the channels exclusive to these newer
systems are H2, Boomerang, Science, Planet Green, PBS Kids Sprout and
Higher capacity satellite dishes
Dish 1000.2 (with TurboHD branding) mounted on a residential apartment
In spite of all this capacity,
EchoStar still needed to fulfill the
dream of nationwide high-definition television and conceived the Dish
1000 system to receive signals from 110°W, 119°W, and 129°W orbital
Dish Network high-definition subscribers
required two separate satellite dishes. Currently, Dish Network
subscribers can receive nationwide HDTV channels using the 129°W
orbital location or 61.5°W orbital location. Because of issues with
low signal strength, the older model Dish 1000 has been replaced with
the Dish 1000.2. The 1000.2 has a 10% larger reflector for better
signal strength and an integrated LNB for easier installation. The
Dish 1000.2 is 23 in (580 mm) in diameter. Even with the
larger size, there are still many reports of customers consistently
losing signal on the 129°W orbital location. This has forced some
customers to either use a 2nd separate
Dish Network brand dish, or an
aftermarket 30" dish, aimed specifically at the 129°W orbital
location. On several satellite related web support forums, customers
have critically suggested that the new Dish 1000.2 wasn't nearly large
enough and should have been 20–30% larger to properly deal with rain
Dish Network took the approach of splitting the US into
two regions. Subscribers west of
Chicago use Dish 1000.2 antennas
aimed at the 110°W, 119°W, and 129°W orbital locations (referred to
as the western arc). Subscribers east of
Chicago use Dish 1000.4
antennas aimed at the 61.5°W, 72°W and 77°W oribital locations
(referred to as the eastern arc).
SuperDish 121 mounted on a roof
During Dish Network's quest for capacity, they had accumulated an
array of satellite broadcasting technologies, orbital locations, and
surplus capacity using non-mainstream technologies requiring larger
dish sizes. To capitalize on these broadcasting assets, Dish Network
started providing extensive ethnic programming from lower-powered
satellites broadcasting in the non-DBS portion of the FSS band. Dish
Network offers specialized equipment for these customers including
larger dish antennas.
The SuperDish, Dish 500+, and Dish 1000+ systems receive DBS signals
from both of the primary 110°W and 119°W locations (129°W for Dish
1000+) as well as lower-powered FSS signals from either 121°W,
105°W, or 118.75°W. The Dish 500+ and 1000+ systems receive
circularly polarized signals in the non-DBS portion of the FSS
band—the only American satellite television service to do so.
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 dish 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
Main article: Hopper (DVR)
Dish HD, newest version used with the Hopper and Joey system
In March 2012, Dish began offering a digital video recorder called
Hopper (DVR) that can automatically record all prime time
programming on the four major television networks. The DVR, which
costs $10 per month, has three tuners (Hopper ver. 3 has sixteen) and
2 TB of hard-disk space, half of which can be used to record 500 hours
of high-definition television or 2000 hours of standard-definition
television programs. The other half is for video on demand. A
Hopper feature, called AutoHop, enables customers to view these
programs without commercials, subject to time restrictions. AutoHop
has attracted enthusiasts, critics, boycotts and legal action. At
the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show Dish won an award for their AutoHop
feature on the Hopper.
Hopper with Sling
See also: Slingbox
The Hopper Sling is a Hopper with the ability to connect to the
Internet in order to allow access to the DISH Anywhere service that
allows you stream live TV and access your DVR content from a computer
and or mobile device. The Hopper contains three-tuners built in that
allows you watch or record up to three shows at the same time. It is
also possess a hard drive that stores the DVR content. They are a
apart of the new generation of XIP receivers.
At the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, Dish announced the Hopper with
Sling, an updated version of the Hopper with
technology built-in, allowing the ability to watch live TV and DVR
recordings online or through a free Dish Anywhere mobile app, and the
ability to "fling" content from a mobile device (such as videos or
photos) onto the TV as well. A Hopper Transfers app for the iPad and
Android also allows recordings to be downloaded directly to the device
for offline viewing and a new Dish Explorer app also provides control
of the Hopper along with integration with social networks to track
trends and reactions to a program [iPad only]. The new Hopper also
includes a 2 TB hard drive (allowing the storage of up to 2,000 hours
of standard definition recordings and 500 hours in high definition)
Broadcom BCM7425 CPU.
CNET praised the Hopper with Sling for being cutting-edge technology
that "helps Dish make a strong case that its HD DVR is the most
advanced out there." It subsequently nominated the new Hopper for the
CES Best in Show award (which was decided by CNET), and had won the
award based off the original vote of CNET's staff. However, CNET's
CBS Corporation vetoed the results, disqualified the
device, and forced a re-vote because
CBS was in active litigation with
Dish. After complaints by critics (including Consumer
CEO Gary Shapiro),
CNET was dropped as the
organizer of the CES awards program, and the Best in Show award was
re-awarded to both the Hopper with Sling and the Razer Edge gaming
tablet (which had won in the second vote by CNET).
Locations with multiple televisions, can use one or more
Joey-receivers which are a secondary receiver that is used in
conjunction with a main Hopper receiver to allow Live TV(using one of
the Hopper's integrated tuners) and DVR access through the Hoppers
MoCA Network(an internal network for the whole home system). The
Hopper acts as the brains for Joey.
Dish Anywhere is Dish's subscriber-only streaming video service, which
Main article: Sling TV
In May 2012, Dish launched DishWorld— A subscription-based
IPTV service, as an app on
offering access to over 50 international television channels via
Dish Network began to reach carriage deals with broadcasters
for a new over-the-top service that would be aimed towards cord
cutters as a low-cost alternative to traditional pay television.
On January 5, 2015,
Dish Network officially unveiled Sling TV, an
IPTV service designed to compliment 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, satellite and
Time Warner initially noted that the carriage of its
channels on the service was only for a "trial" basis, while both Time
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. As of October 2016[update], the
service has approximately 1 million subscribers.
EchoStar § Satellite fleet
Most of the satellites used by
Dish Network are owned and operated by
EchoStar frequently moves satellites among its many
orbiting slots this list may not be immediately accurate. Refer to
Lyngsat and Dish Channel Chart for detailed satellite information.
Dish Network Satellites
Location (Degrees West)
000000001995-12-28-0000December 28, 1995
Lockheed Martin Astro Space Series 7000 (AS-7000)
Can carry a limited number of services on odd numbered transponders.
EchoStar is not licensed to serve CONUS customers in the United States
from this location but may transmit local stations.
000000001997-10-05-0000October 5, 1997
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space A2100AX
EchoStar XV and was serving as an in-orbit spare.
Deorbited with some difficulty by 000000002017-09-06-0000September 6,
000000001998-05-08-0000May 8, 1998
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space A2100AX
This satellite had a launch issue, is now in an inclined orbit and is
not currently[when?] operational. It largely serves as a placeholder
Deorbited from 148
000000001999-09-23-0000September 23, 1999
Space Systems/Loral FS-1300
EchoStar V was moved from 110 to 129 and finally to 148. International
programming at 148 has moved to Anik F3/118.75°. Locals have moved to
spot beams at other locations. The satellite was to serve as a
EchoStar at the 148 slot. The satellite was
experiencing stability issues that made signal levels unstable for the
short time it was located at 148. On July 31, 2009, all remaining
programming at 148 ceased. Factors now indicate discontinuation of the
148 slot, at least for the short term, 3–4 years.
000000002000-07-14-0000July 14, 2000
Space Systems/Loral FS-1300
000000002002-02-21-0000February 21, 2002
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space A2100AX
Currently[when?] an on orbit spare. Provides Dish Network's spot beam
services to the western United States, as well as Muzak programming to
businesses on leased bandwidth.
000000002002-08-21-0000August 21, 2002
Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) FS-1300
Formerly at 110. On January 30, 2011, the satellite experienced a
single event upset and drifted out of its intended orbit, this
required all services to be relocated to other available satellite
capacity in the Eastern Arc. One week later some services were
restored, but the satellite is expected to be taken out of service
again and replaced temporarily by
EchoStar VI in order to conduct
000000002003-07-17-0000July 17, 2003
Lockheed Martin AS-2100
Originally known as Rainbow 1, this satellite was launched by
Cablevision/Rainbow DBS and used for the
Voom DBS service at
61.5° W until the satellite and transponder licenses were sold
EchoStar in 2005. Renamed
EchoStar 12 in March 2006. Currently only
used for spot beam capabilities.
000000002006-02-15-0000February 15, 2006
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space A2100AX
000000002007-04-12-0000April 12, 2007
Astrium Eurostar 3000
Customers use the 36 inch Dish 500+ or Dish 1000+ to receive this
non-DBS, medium-powered signal. Anik F3 is leased by
Telesat Canada to serve CONUS customers. It broadcasts on non-DBS FSS
frequencies (~11.7-12.2 GHz) using circular polarity (the only
satellite serving the
United States in this mode). It permanently
replaces AMC-16, which was temporarily placed at 118.75° W due
to delays in Anik F3 production. AMC-16 moved back to 85° W when
Anik F3 was fully operational. A primarily international satellite
with international channels once on 61.5, 121, or 148.
000000002008-07-16-0000July 16, 2008
000000002008-12-10-0000December 10, 2008
Thales Alenia Space
Thales Alenia Space Spacebus-4000C4
Replaced Echostar-V at the 129°W orbital location. Owned by Canadian
Ciel Satellite Group,
EchoStar leases the entire bandwidth of the
Ciel-2 satellite. Provides national HD programming and HD spot beam
000000002009-09-17-0000September 17, 2009
Space Systems/Loral LS-1300
A Canadian satellite operated by
Telesat Canada. Echostar leases the
000000002010-03-20-0000March 20, 2010
Space Systems/Loral FS-1300
Replaced Echostar VII.
EchoStar XIV launched on an International
Launch Services Proton/Breeze M vehicle from the Baikonur Cosmodrome
in Kazakhstan. Resides at an altitude of 22,000 miles.
000000002010-07-10-0000July 10, 2010
Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) FS-1300
A CONUS only satellite.
Criticisms and controversies
Main article: Criticism of Dish Network
Since the early 2000s,
Dish Network received criticism regarding
controversial technology and carriage disputes with programming
providers. Most notably, when the Hopper digital video recorder
provided an easy way for viewers to watch certain programming without
commercials, major networks sued Dish Network.
Dish Network's Hopper digital video recorder, announced in January
2012, led to controversy over a feature, called "AutoHop", which
allows viewers to watch some programming without commercials, subject
to time restrictions.
AutoHop is an extension of the DVR's prime time recording capability.
When enabled, the feature records but hides commercials, giving
viewers the option of viewing prime time programming on the four major
Commercials cannot be skipped until 1 am
Eastern Time, and the viewer must choose to do this. Recorded programs
are available for eight days after they have aired. News of AutoHop
met with an immediate, polarized response. The feature was deemed a
"dream come true" for consumers, but for networks, a nightmare
undercutting the revenue model. Dish asserted that AutoHop would
encourage its customers to sample new programming. Leslie Moonves, CBS
chief executive, asked rhetorically how he is to produce CSI without
the revenue stream of commercials.
News Corporation refused to accept
Dish advertising for the device. A
Forrester Research analyst said the
move demonstrated Dish's desperation to keep customers at a time when
alternative programming is readily available via the
The controversy surrounding AutoHop contributed to one small-market
station group, Hoak Media Corporation, removing its 14 stations
channels from the service on June 6, 2012. In negotiations, Hoak
sought a 200 percent increase in carriage fees and the dropping of the
AutoHop feature. David Shull, Dish senior vice president of
programming, accused Hoak of effectively telling Dish's customers that
they must watch commercials, disrespecting customer control over its
services. Eight days later, the two companies announced a distribution
deal. Terms were not disclosed.
On June 27, 2012, Dish
Charlie Ergen told the United States
House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology that the feature
would enable parents to protect their children from alcohol and fast
food advertising. The next day, Michael Petricone of the Consumer
Electronics Association spoke to the subcommittee, likening Hopper to
earlier time shifting devices. He argued that Hopper is legal and that
AutoHop entices people to watch more television, thereby expanding
CNET was also forced by parent company
CBS to disqualify the newest
Hopper with Sling model from the CES Best in Show award for 2013
because of its active litigation with the company.
CEO Joe Clayton
said that Dish was "saddened that CNET's staff is being denied its
editorial independence because of CBS' heavy handed tactics." Dish
Network directly attacked
CBS for its decision in an advertisement for
the device on its website. The ad proclaimed the DVR as being CNET's
"Best in Show", but with a footnote stating that "
CBS will go to any
lengths to keep you from enjoying ad-skipping technology—even
censoring its own writers and throwing out their decision to name
Hopper 'Best In Show.' Your vote is the only one that really
Dish Network independent dealers have repeatedly been charged and
fined for employing illegal telemarketing tactics, such as violating
do not call lists and making calls in which a live telemarketer does
not connect promptly after the call is answered. Dish Network
terminated agreements with some independent dealers in relation to
these charges. In March 2009 the Federal Trade Commission
Dish Network and two of its dealers with multiple violations
of the FTC's Telemarketing Sales Rule and the Telephone Consumer
Protection Act of 1991.
In January 2004, thirteen states charged that Echostar, then the
parent company of Dish Network, had not disclosed termination fees to
potential customers and had debited customers' bank accounts for
hidden fees. The company settled the lawsuit, paid $5 million, and
promised to disclose all terms prior to signing contracts with
Dish has also begun to collect shipping fees on equipment that needs
to be returned after customers cancel their service with Dish. The
shipping cost back in September 2014 was $17. As of June 6, 2017, the
shipping cost is now $12. This fee applies regardless of whether the
fee was included in the initial contract customers signed.
Dish has been sued and countersued dozens of times. In fact, Dish uses
litigation as a profit center.
Charlie Ergen said, "I may be the only
CEO who likes to go to depositions. You can live in a bubble, and
you’re probably not going to get a disease. But you can play in the
mud and the dirt, and you’re probably not going to get a disease
either, because you get immune to it. You pick your poison, and I
think we choose to go play in the mud.” In 2001, Dish admitted to
using over 100 law firms over a ten-year period.
On May 24, 2012, Dish and the networks filed suit in federal court,
the Dish case in
Manhattan and the networks' cases in Los Angeles. On
May 30, U.S. District Judge
Laura Taylor Swain ruled the networks'
cases should not be filed in
Los Angeles and asked for comments on a
possible move of all cases to New York.
In July 9 preliminary judgement, Swain denied Dish's request to set
aside the issue of copyright violation, ruling that Dish's argument
lacked specificity. She also ruled that the case could be heard in Los
Angeles, thereby eliminating New York as a potential venue.
On November 7, 2012, the
United States District Court for the Central
District of California denied Fox's motion for preliminary injunction
for the reasons mainly because 1) PTAT and AutoHop did not infringe
copyright and did not breach the contract; and 2) while QA copies
constituted a copyright infringement and breached the contract, the
harm from the copies was not irreparable, but was compensable with
Fox appealed to the
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth
Circuit. On July 24, 2013, the Ninth Circuit reviewed the district
court's decision with a very deferential standard of review, and
Frequency acquisition subsidies
Dish Network received about $3 billion in subsidies from the federal
government to buy wireless bandwidth.
Dish Network used the 1934
Federal Communications Act to win subsidies for the purchases it made
at the January 2015 auction of wireless spectrum. Under the terms of
that act, "designated entities" qualify for a 25 percent discount on
the market price of such licenses. Dish used small subsidiaries such
as Northstar Wireless and SNR Wireless in order to qualify. Dish only
paid $10 billion for licenses that would have otherwise cost $13
billion. The difference would have been paid to the federal
government. The FEC and the
United States Senate opened investigations
into the matter after numerous public complaints.
Off-the-job marijuana use
Dish fired a wheelchair-bound quadriplegic man, Brandon Coats, from
his job as a telephone operator in 2010 for using medical-marijuana
during off-work hours. Coats used marijuana to control muscle spasms.
His paralysis was due to injuries from a car crash. Coats failed a
random drug test. Coats sued claiming that marijuana use was legal and
that he was a model employee. Coats suit relied under a
called the Lawful Off-Duty Activities Statute that prohibits employers
from firing employees for doing legal things during their personal
time. The trial court and
Colorado Court of Appeals ruled in Coats v.
Dish Network that since marijuana is banned by federal law it does not
qualify as legal activity despite being permitted by state law. The
trial court ruled that Coats should have to pay Dish's legal fees; the
appeals court overturned this ruling.
In April 2005, Rainbow Media and
Dish Network entered into a 15-year
affiliation agreement whereby EchoStar’s
Dish Network obtained the
right to distribute the
Voom channels until 2020 and agreed that it
would pay Rainbow Media monthly subscription fees for the life of the
agreement. The subscription fees started at $3.25 per subscriber in
the first year of the agreement, and were to increase to $6.43 per
subscriber by the year 2020. In a separate agreement, EchoStar’s
Dish obtained a 20% ownership interest in Rainbow Media (the business
unit that contained the
Voom HD channels) and Rainbow agreed to invest
$100 million into the
Voom service each year for the first five years
of the agreement. As a result, EchoStar's
Dish Network announced
that they would be adding ten of Voom's original 21 channels to their
lineup starting May 1; the remaining channels were added on February
In January 2008, EchoStar's
Dish Network abandoned the affiliation
agreement claiming that
Voom had failed to invest $100 million in the
service during 2006 although
Cablevision and Rainbow provided Dish
Network with the financial statements documenting their compliance.
Dish Network proceeded to remove ten of the channels from their lineup
on May 12, 2008, with the remaining five removed the next day,
leaving coverage limited to Cablevision's systems in New York, New
Jersey, Connecticut and parts of Pennsylvania.
Cablevision and Rainbow
Dish Network for breach of contract and sought more than $2.5
billion in damages. Citing this drop in carriage and the ensuing
Cablevision announced on December 18 that the Voom
HD suite would be discontinued as of January 15, 2009, to be replaced
by other HD programming. (Ultimately, the channels ceased
operations on January 20, and were replaced by multiplexed HD content
from premium providers.)
Following the discovery process, the court granted Voom's motion for
New York State
New York State Supreme Court found that EchoStar's
Dish Network "systematically destroyed evidence" in the case and
stated that “it is entirely possible that the documents destroyed by
EchoStar demonstrated that
EchoStar knew all along that there was no
breach...and would prove Voom’s case.” The Judge also stated that
he would tell jurors that
Dish Network destroyed evidence and that the
jury may assume the evidence would have been helpful to Voom’s
Sanford C. Bernstein
Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Craig Moffett in a recent
Wall Street Journal article, "cases involving spoilation of evidence
rarely go to trial because the odds are so skewed against the
offending party." In this case, the judge told the jury that EchoStar
failed to preserve certain evidence; he barred Dish from calling its
expert witness to testify on damages. Additionally, the court
stated in its November 3, 2010 ruling: “In conclusion, the court
notes EchoStar’s pattern of egregious conduct and questionable –
and, at times, blatantly improper – litigation tactics. EchoStar’s
spoliation in this action, and the fact that it has been sanctioned
for spoliation in previous actions, is precisely the type of offensive
conduct that cannot be tolerated by the court. Similarly egregious is
EchoStar’s last minute finagling with expert reports, believing that
it can play fast and loose with the rules of procedure in order to
enhance its litigation posture.”
The trial commenced on September 19, 2012 in the New York State
Supreme Court. During the summer of 2012, financial analysts who cover
Dish urged the company to settle the lawsuit in advance of the trial,
as “the odds would…appear to be heavily in Cablevision’s/AMC’s
Dish chose to settle. The terms of the settlement required Dish to pay
$700 million for spectrum licenses covering 500 megahertz and capable
of serving 150 million people.
TiVo patent lawsuit
TiVo Inc. v.
On June 3, 2009, satellite service provider
EchoStar was found by
Marshall, Texas, federal district court judge David Folsom to be in
contempt of a permanent injunction against using some of TiVo's
technology and was required to pay the DVR pioneer $103.1 million plus
interest. On May 3, 2011,
Dish Network Corporation and EchoStar
Corporation agreed to pay
TiVo Inc. $500 million to settle a dispute
over the use of some of TiVo’s technology.
This lawsuit took more than ten years to resolve. One of the judges
involved said that the conduct of Dish's lawyers didn't “even meet
law-school student behavior,” and “presented the saddest day I
have seen in my many years in court.”
Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott
Dish sued its own law firm, Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott
of Chicago, for malpractice. The firm countersued and won a $40
million judgement against Dish. A panel from the American Arbitration
Association said that Dish's allegations were "patently false" and
Related party transactions
In 2012, Dish invested $500,000 in a technology startup, Yottabyte
Ventures LLC, in which Christoper Ergen, the son of
CEO Charlie Ergen,
has 7.1 percent equity. Yottabytes develops mobile video applications.
At the end of 2012, Dish held 71.4% of that company's equity. In 2011,
Dish paid $100,000 to an online marketing company that Chase Ergen,
another son of Charlie Ergen, owns 50% of. As part of a reseller
agreement, Dish paid another firm owned by Chase Ergen $101,000 during
2010 and 2011. Candy Ergen, Charlie Ergen's wife, is paid between
$100,000 to $110,000 per year in consulting fees. Other unnamed
children of Ergen received about $25,000 in 2010 and 2011.
These transactions were criticized by analysts. Lev Janashvili,
managing director at GMI Ratings, which tracks governance, accounting
and other risks in publicly traded companies, said, "These are things
to be concerned about because they raise reasonable questions about
conflicts of interest and the overall integrity of governance at the
company." Janashvili also said, "The investment in Yottabytes Ventures
LLC is a classic example of (a related party transaction) that
warrants a closer scrutiny of the company's governance practices,
especially because this transaction is part of a broader pattern of
behaviors that run counter to the interests of shareholders. Dish is a
'controlled company' whose majority shareholder can insulate himself
from the opinions of other investors."
Dish has reportedly been criticized for treating analysts and major
shareholders poorly. Craig Moffett, senior analyst of U.S.
telecommunications, U.S. cable, and satellite broadcasting at Sanford
C. Bernstein once requested time with management to learn about how
Dish does business. Ergen told him, “We’re too busy creating value
around here to sit down and talk about it. Thanks but no
thanks.” Chris Marangi, a money manager for Gamco Investors,
which held about 4 millions shares in Dish, said that the company is
very uncooperative. He says that despite traveling to Denver
frequently has never been able to get a meeting with Ergen or any
other Dish senior manager. “They’re probably the least transparent
company of any I’ve ever dealt with." Dish sends out press releases
on its earnings deliberately late enough to be of little or no use to
analysts and investors whom are then forced to sort through
complicated filings submitted to the Securities and Exchange
Carriage disputes involving Dish
AMC Networks §
Dish Network carriage dispute
On March 4, 2012,
Dish Network announced that it would no longer carry
AMC Networks family of cable channels upon the expiration of the
satellite provider's distribution agreement with the company at the
end of June 2012, citing that
AMC Networks charged an excessive amount
in retransmission consent payments from the service for their carriage
and low audience viewership for the channels.
AMC Networks responded to Dish's announcement of its pending removal
of the channels as being related to a 2008 breach of contract lawsuit
Dish Network by former company parent Rainbow Media's
Networks, in which it is seeking more than $2.5 billion in damages
against Dish for improperly terminating its carriage contract; Voom's
high-definition channels were carried on the provider from May 1, 2005
until May 12, 2008 when Dish removed ten of Voom's fifteen channels
from its lineup (the five remaining
Voom HD channels were removed from
Dish the day after). However, Dish states that the lawsuit is
unrelated to the decision to remove the
AMC Networks channels and that
it ended the carriage agreement on its own terms.
On May 20, 2012,
Dish Network removed Sundance Channel from its
channel lineup. Two weeks later on June 4, 2012, Dish relocated AMC,
WE tv, and IFC to higher channel positions with AMC being split into
two separate standard definition and high definition channel feeds
(AMC moved from channel 130 to channel 9609 for the SD feed and 9610
for the HD feed,
WE tv moved from channel 128 to channel 9608 and IFC
was moved from channel 393 to channel 9607); the former channel lineup
spaces occupied by the three channels were respectively replaced with
HDNet, Style and
MoviePlex multiplex channel Indieplex. The move is
believed to be in response to an ad run during a June 3 airing of an
Mad Men urging
Dish Network customers to inform the company
to keep the three
AMC Networks channels on the satellite provider with
Dish stating that the relocated channel positions better reflect the
On June 30, 2012, Dish dropped the three
AMC Networks properties,
replacing AMC with HDNet movies, IFC with HDNet (which subsequently
AXS TV two days later), and
WE tv with Style. The move
coincided with a new agreement between Dish and AT&T U-verse.
On July 12, 2012, AMC said in an e-mailed statement that it would
stream over the
Internet the season premiere of "Breaking Bad" to DISH
customers. "Dish subscribers can register online starting July 13
for the show, which airs on July 15. We want to give Dish customers an
extra week to switch providers so they can enjoy the rest of the
On October 21, 2012,
AMC Networks announced a settlement was reached
Cablevision and Dish in which Dish was forced to pay up
to $700 Million in damages to
Cablevision for damages from removing
Voom owned channels off the Dish Lineup back in 2008, and in return
Dish signed a new agreement to bring the AMC networks owned channels
back on the Dish lineup with AMC returning October 21 and the rest on
November 1st. Also, DISH simultaneously brought back FUSE, and
all 4 channels were moved from "America's Top 200" to 120.
Remarks on rural viewers
During a conference call Ergen stated after being asked about the
removal of AMC channels, "Our customers are not looking at zombies in
New York City. They live in farms and ranches ... We have data, real
data from our customers. And for whatever reason, our customers don't
watch some of those critically acclaimed channels at the level that we
read about in the paper, perhaps because we skew a bit rural or
whatever." Ergen also said "I've had satellite television for as long
as satellite television has been around, and there's never been one
minute that I know of that anybody in my family or anybody who's came
to my house has ever watched one second of any of those channels. They
have no clue about zombies in
New York City
New York City marching around saying,
'Where is my AMC?'" Soon after the call, Business Insider blared the
CEO says customers don't care about AMC because they
live on 'farms and ranches.'"
MSG, a regional sports network serving New York State, was dropped on
October 1, 2010. Although MSG shares ownership with
Voom and AMC (all
three companies being controlled by the Dolan family), it was not
included in the 2012 settlement. As of 2017, the carriage dispute has
never been resolved, leaving MSG, its sister networks
MSG Plus and
later addition MSG Western New York, unavailable on the service.
Main article: Fox Broadcasting Co. v. Dish Network, LLC
On December 21, 2014,
Dish Network dropped
Fox News Channel
Fox News Channel and Fox
Business Network. A failed first attempt to reach a deal on the 18th
of the same month resulted in the blackout. The two parties blamed
each other; Dish said Fox tried to unfairly tie in a sister channel
and charge unreasonable rates. Fox pointed out the recent pattern
Dish had created with other networks. A deal was finally reached on
January 14, 2015 with undisclosed terms.
On March 3, 2017, at midnight, ET, Dish network has dropped the Hearst
Television–owned local stations from their line-up. This includes 32
stations in 28 markets, affiliated with NBC, ABC, CBS, The CW, and
MyNetworkTV in cities including Boston, MA, Tampa, FL, Milwaukee, WI,
Pittsburgh, PA, and New Orleans, LA. The stations were restored on
April 26, 2017, at 7:00 p.m. ET.
On October 21, 2014, during the early morning hours, Dish entered a
dispute with Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting System. Dish removed
CNN, HLN, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, Boomerang, TruTV, Turner Classic
CNN en Español as the contract to carry those channels
expired on October 20. TBS and TNT were not removed, as they are
carried under a different contract. The channels were pulled without
warning leaving many with questions. Dish replaced
HLN with MSNBC, replaced
Cartoon Network and Boomerang with Nicktoons
(except for the West Feed which was replaced by a message about the
removal of the channels), replaced
Turner Classic Movies
Turner Classic Movies with FXM, and
Esquire Network during the duration of the
dispute. The dispute was settled and the Turner Network Channels
restored on November 21, 2014.
On Monday November 20, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern, Dish entered a
CBS Corporation. Dish subscribers lost access to CBS
Television Stations (which own and operate select
CBS and The CW
affiliates in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, among 14
CBS Sports Network and Pop as the contract to carry
those channels expired that day. Showtime, The Movie Channel, and Flix
were not affected as the premium networks are carried in a different
Dish Network claimed in a statement the following day that
CBS chose to black out Dish customers' access to its channels in an
effort to raise rates and gain negotiating leverage." However, CBS
rebutted those claims on Wednesday November 22, saying that Dish
Network is "desperate to retain subscribers" and "clearly, pulling
content providers off the air is Dish's way of doing things."
Customers in the
Los Angeles and
Dallas markets were unable to watch
the Thanksgiving Day football game between the
Los Angeles Chargers
Dallas Cowboys unless they watched it over-the-air via a DTV
antenna. The TV stations and cable channels were restored on November
24, 2017 after a new agreement was reached.
This wasn't Dish Network's first blackout with CBS. Back in March
2004, Dish briefly removed all of the original Viacom assets
UPN O&O TV affiliates before its 2005 split
CBS Corporation) before reaching a new longterm agreement to
restore those services.
Bell TV, formerly
Dish Network Canada
DishHD (subsidiary Dish HD Asia serves China and Taiwan)
United States cable and satellite television networks
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Wikibooks has a book on the topic of: VIP 922/Dish Network
Business data for Dish Network: Google Finance
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List of local television stations in North America
North American TV mini-template
List of Canadian television networks
List of Canadian television channels
List of Canadian specialty channels
Local Canadian TV stations
United States stations available in Canada
2001 Vancouver TV realignment
2007 Canada broadcast TV realignment
Local Mexican TV stations
List of American cable and satellite networks
List of American over-the-air networks
Local American TV stations (W)
Local American TV stations (K)
Spanish-language TV networks
United States broadcast TV realignment
United States broadcast TV realignment
List of Canadian television stations available in the United States
Insular Areas TV
Africa, Asia, Middle East and Oceania
Digital television in North America
Distributed transmission system
Metropolitan Television Alliance
All-Channel Receiver Act
Digital channel election
Digital television adapter
U.S. Converter Box Coupon Program
Digital video recorders
Ultra high-definition TV
Serial digital interface
see Template:American broadcast television
Template:Canadian television networks
List by country
wireless spectrum auction
OpenCable Application Platform
Downloadable Conditional Access System
GlobeCast World TV
Bell TV/Telus Satellite TV
Digital Satellite Service/DVB-S2
Bell Fibe TV
Telus Optik TV
Active Format Description
Channel protection ratios
Video on demand
Internet service providers of the United States
Blue Ridge Communications
Cincinnati Bell FiOptics
Cable protection system
Prepay mobile phone
The Telephone Cases
Timeline of communication technology
Undersea telegraph line
Edwin Howard Armstrong
John Logie Baird
Alexander Graham Bell
Jagadish Chandra Bose
Lee de Forest
Erna Schneider Hoover
Charles K. Kao
Alexander Stepanovich Popov
Johann Philipp Reis
Vladimir K. Zworykin
Free-space optical communication
Network switching (circuit
Public Switched Telephone
World Wide Web
Satellite data unit
Satellite radio / TV
Digital audio radio service
Astra Digital Radio
Sirius XM Holdings
Sirius Satellite Radio
Sky Television plc
Relay satellite companies
Thales Alenia Space
Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems
ETSI Satellite Digital Radio
List of communications satellite firsts
List of communication satellite companies