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Dish Network Corporation
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About Dish Network Corporation

DISH Network believes entertainment (and news and sports) is a dish best served from the sky and over the internet. The company is one of the biggest pay-TV providers in the US, serving about 12 million household subscribers as well as hotels, motels, and other commercial accounts. Programming includes premium movies, on-demand video service, regional and specialty sports, local and international channels, and pay-per-view in addition to basic video programming. Its relatively new Sling TV offering provides streaming video over the internet. DISH generates almost all sales in the US.


DISH Network's revenue comes from its satellite and streaming pay-TV subscriptions. The satellite service relies on satellite dishes that are set up on customers' structures (homes and commercial buildings) to receive signals. Signals reach those dishes from the 11 satellites that DISH owns or leases orbiting some 22,300 miles above the equator. (DISH Network added another nine satellites in 2019 in a deal with EchoStar.) The company also leases set-top boxes and video recorders to subscribers. 

The Sling streaming service is transmitted over the internet and is geared to consumers who don't subscribe to cable or satellite services. Sling-branded pay-TV services consist of live streaming programming for US and international markets.

Among DISH Network's assets is a range of radio spectrum for wireless service. The company spent some $21 billion over the past decade to amass the spectrum holdings.

Geographic Reach

While virtually all of DISH Network's revenue is from US customers, the company gets a fraction of sales from Canada and Mexico. The company, based in the Denver suburb of Englewood, operates 10 call centers in seven states. Its major digital broadcast operations facilities are in Cheyenne, Wyoming and Gilbert, Arizona.

Sales and Marketing

DISH Network gains new subscribers through third parties, including national retailers and telecommunications firms, local and regional electronics stores, and small satellite retailers, among other channels. Of its 12 million subscribers, about 10 million are DISH customers and two million are Sling subscribers.

Financial Performance

DISH Network's revenue peaked in 2015 after seven years of steady growth. Revenue has declined in the past three years with the loss of subscribers in the face of increasing competition from streaming video services.

The company's revenue dropped 5% to $13.6 billion in 2018 from 2017 due to a net loss of 932,000 subscribers. Sling TV gained about 200,000 subscribers in 2018, about half a million subscribers less than signed up in 2017. The monthly average revenue per user (for satellite and Sling TV) fell to $85.46 in 2018 from $86.43 in 2017 because Sling TV's lower cost was averaged into the cost of satellite TV service.

Net income fell to $1.5 billion in 2018 from $2.1 billion in 2017 when the company had a tax benefit in 2017 that was not repeated in 2018.

The holdings of cash and equivalents in DISH Network's coffers slid to $887 million in 2018 from $1.4 billion in 2017. Operations provided $2.5 billion in 2018, while investing activities used $1.9 billion and financing activities used $1.1 billion.


DISH Network is going over the heads of telecommunications companies to build a network for 5G wireless service. The fifth generation of wireless networks, 5G is supposed to be much faster than its predecessors, unlocking myriad applications. DISH Network has spent $21 billion over 10 years to stockpile wireless spectrum licenses that it would deploy for a 5G-capable network. DISH Network's narrow band network is to focus on service for devices connected to the Internet of Things, sensors and other devices that collect and transmit data from weather readings to communications between driverless cars. The company plans to start the network in 2020.

In programming, DISH Network has focused much of its attention on its Sling TV packages aimed at customers who have cut their subscription to cable and satellite TV services. The company expanded its Sling packages to offer consumers more choices: The Sling TV Blue service offers streaming over multiple devices while the original service, now Sling TV Orange, streams to one device.

While Sling TV has helped DISH Network, is it enough to enable it to compete with increasingly fierce rivals? Rival pay-TV services have added content arms to supplement their distribution assets. Satellite TV provider DirecTV has the backing of giant telecom AT&T, which added the Time Warner news and entertainment offerings (such as HBO, CNN, and TNT) through an acquisition. Cable provider Comcast is taking advantage of its NBCUniversal division to bolster its offerings. Furthermore, the Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and's Prime video streaming services have put pressure on DISH Network and its pay-TV colleagues.

DISH added to its satellite capacity in 2019, spending $800 million (all in stock) for nine broadcast satellites from EchoStar.

Mergers and Acquisitions

DISH added to its satellite fleet with the purchase of assets from EchoStar. DISH paid $800 million in stock for nine direct broadcast satellites, licensing for the 61.5-degree orbital slot, and some real estate properties. In a 2017 deal with EchoStar, DISH bought set-top box development, Sling TV technology, software development employees, and US satellite TV ground infrastructure.

In 2018 Dish acquired Parkifi, a developer of sensors for parking lots. Parkifi adds experience in connecting low-powered sensors with the cloud to DISH.

Company Background

Charlie Ergen, a former financial analyst for Frito-Lay, founded a Denver company called Echosphere, a retailer of large-dish, C-band satellite TV equipment, with his wife, Cantey, and James DeFranco in 1980. Echosphere, which preceded DISH Network, evolved into a national manufacturer and distributor, which in 1987 began its move toward the new direct broadcast satellite (DBS) delivery system. It filed for a DBS license and set up subsidiary EchoStar Communications Corporation to build, launch, and operate DBS satellites. In 1992 the FCC granted the company an orbital slot.

By 1994 Echosphere was the US's largest distributor of conventional home satellite equipment, but the future clearly rested with DBS and EchoStar. A 1995 reorganization renamed the firm EchoStar Communications; the Echosphere distributor business became a subsidiary. EchoStar also created the DISH (Digital Sky Highway) Network brand, aiming for an easier-to-remember name than its rivals' "DSS" and "USSB."

Dish Network Corporation

Englewood, CO 80112-5905
Phone: 1 (303) 723-1000

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Publicly Owned
Stock Symbol: DISH
Stock Exchange: , NASDAQ
President and COO: W. Erik Carlson
Chairman and CEO: Charles W. Ergen
SVP and CFO: Steven E. Swain
Employees (This Location): 6,500
Employees (All Locations): 16,000

Major Office Locations

Englewood, CO

Other Locations

Pelham, AL
Jonesboro, AR
Gilbert, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Anaheim, CA
Fresno, CA
Glendale, CA
Hawthorne, CA
Hayward, CA
Novato, CA
Riverside, CA
Sacramento, CA
San Bernardino, CA
San Diego, CA
San Jose, CA
Santa Ana, CA
Stockton, CA
Torrance, CA
Denver, CO
Loveland, CO
Thornton, CO
Camden, DE
Kissimmee, FL
New Smyrna Beach, FL
North Port, FL
Pembroke Pines, FL
Port Charlotte, FL
Sarasota, FL
Venice, FL
Weston, FL
Carrollton, GA
Cleveland, GA
Columbus, GA
Milledgeville, GA
Meridian, ID
Indianapolis, IN
Duluth, MN
Henderson, MN
Joplin, MO
Kansas City, MO
Kirksville, MO
O Fallon, MO
Saint Charles, MO
Charlotte, NC
Greensboro, NC
Raleigh, NC
Thompson, ND
Lincoln, NE
Atlantic City, NJ
Plainfield, NJ
Totowa, NJ
Albuquerque, NM
Espanola, NM
Flushing, NY
Hilliard, OH
Mansfield, OH
Tulsa, OK
Portland, OR
Pittston, PA
North Kingstown, RI
Spartanburg, SC
Summerville, SC
Columbia, TN
Knoxville, TN
Nashville, TN
Arlington, TX
Austin, TX
Conroe, TX
Dallas, TX
El Paso, TX
Harlingen, TX
Houston, TX
Laredo, TX
Longview, TX
Mesquite, TX
Midland, TX
Salt Lake City, UT
Christiansburg, VA
Bellingham, WA
Bremerton, WA
Kent, WA
Lacey, WA
Kenosha, WI
Bluefield, WV