Monday, April 15, 2013

Dish Network Actively Wants Wireless

The one thing to be said about Dish Network and Charlie Ergen is that he is not afraid to go after what he wants.  With stories about wanting Clearwire, merging with DirecTv, offering the Hopper, and now buying Sprint, they have serious intentions to disrupt the media landscape.  Today it seems that if you can't get Clearwire, get the company trying to purchase it.  So why does Ergen want to add wireless to his media empire?  "DISH's Ergen said he's pursuing the merger to broaden DISH's business by offering integrated bundle packages of broadband data, voice services and home video that can be played at home or on the wireless network." 

To be competitive with cable and telecom, Dish needs a wireless business.  And Ergen rightfully recognizes that the communication landscape, whether video, audio or other data is becoming increasingly more mobile.  Dish's current distribution play requires a tethered antenna and wires to the TV.  Dish needs a wireless platform to augment and grow his distribution plans. And the acquisition of Sprint should help to take Clearwire as well. 

His bid for Sprint, a good 25% over Softbank's bid may or may not be enough. Will Softbank counterbid or will this ultimately be the move that gets Dish his wireless business.  And lastly, should a Dish/DirecTv merger be out of the question or the icing on the cake that makes their satellite play a much stronger competitor in the cable/telecom industry.

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