It has been well known that Charlie Ergan, CEO of Dish Network, has wanted to get more instrumental in the wireless and cellular marketplace. He amassed an interest in LightSquared only to watch that company go bankrupt. At the same time, he has been buying wireless spectrum over the years. Most recently, he announced an OTT platform called Sling TV to offer a low cost content bundle to consumers. And now he has announced his next move.
According to the NY Post, " is planning to take on Verizon and AT&T by creating a wireless video and data bundle, sources said." And by using this wireless spectrum, Dish could potentially offer a triple play of services, video, data, and phone, to compete head on with MVPDs like Comcast, Charter and others. The timing seems appropriate given that the AT&T-DirecTv merger could be approved by the FCC, limiting his appeal with the Dish satellite platform. Already, Dish has lost about 300,000 video subscribers and given the rise of cord cutting, even more in the future. With the demand for wireless access rising and competition limited, Dish's entry in the space, both as a delivery platform and content aggregator could make them appealing.
The future media landscape clearly lies in mobile and Ergan's push in wireless makes enormous sense. With few competitors and customers feeling price conscious, the chance to break in and disrupt seems opportune. Lately, there has been much movement in this space, from the AT&T DirecTv merger to Verizon buying AOL. I wouldn't be surprised, given Ergan's style, to look at more content acquisition as well.