DISH Network serves up fare intended to whet everyone's appetite for televised entertainment. The #2 provider of satellite-based pay-TV in the US (behind DIRECTV), the company serves more than 14 million subscribers, which include business clients in such industries as hospitality, restaurant, and retail. Programming includes premium movies, SIRIUS radio, on-demand video service, regional and specialty sports, local and international channels, and pay-per-view in addition to basic video programming. It offers bundled voice and Internet services through partnerships with voice and data communications providers. DISH generates all of its sales in the US.
The company offers about 3,100 local channels, including standard definition channels in all US markets and HD channels in 190 of the some 210 national markets. It also carries 70 Sirius radio channels, 30 premium movie channels, 35 regional and specialty sports channels, 300 Latino and international channels, and 70 pay-per-view channels. Its DISH Anywhere service allows subscribers to watch more than 325,000 movies, TV shows, clips, and trailers online from personal computers, smartphones, and other mobile devices. Blockbuster@ Home provides streaming access to more than 10,000 movies and TV shows to DISH customers on their TVs and online access to more than 25,000 movies and TV shows by computer.
DISH provides its programming options via satellites that it owns or leases from satellite equipment and services provider EchoStar (spun off by DISH in 2008). The company distributes its programming from operations centers also owned by EchoStar. DISH subscribers access the service using a small satellite dish and digital set-top receivers.
Sales and Marketing
The company gains new subscribers through third parties, including national retailers and telecommunications firms, local and regional electronics stores, and small satellite retailers, among other channels. Customer acquisition costs dropped to $853 per customer in 2014 from $866 in 2013 while the average pay-TV bill increased to $83.77 in 2014 from $80.37 in 2013.
DISH has produced steady, if unspectacular, revenue growth in the past few years and 2014 was in line with that pattern. Revenue increased 5% to $16.6 million from $13.9 billion in 2013. The company added new subscribers at a slightly slower rate than it did in 2013. The number of broadband subscribers was also down in 2014.
Net income increased 17% to $944 million in 2014 from 2013. The increase came from the rise in revenue as well as a lack of costs for discontinued operations that ran at $47 million in 2013.
Driven by the rise in net income, DISH’s cash flow from operations climbed in 2014 to about $2.4 billion from $2.3 billion the previous year.
While DISH has much on its plate with its satellite business, it launched another version of pay-TV in 2015. The Sling TV streaming service offers a variety of channels for a $20 monthly subscription. Delivered over the Internet to computer, mobile devices, and services such as Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Xbox One, it offers live viewing of sought after cable channels HBO and ESPN and others. For additional fees Sling TV offers more tiers of programming of news and children’s shows as well as a video on-demand programming library.
The company successfully bid about $9 billion for a number of wireless spectrum licenses that the US Federal Communications Commission auctioned. The company has options to offer wireless telephone service, sell it, or wait to see if its value rises.