EchoStar IV

Dish Network Corporation
Public
Traded as DISH
Industry Satellite Television
Founded 1996
Founder(s) Charlie Ergen
Jim DeFranco
Candy Ergen
Headquarters Meridian, Colorado, USA
Area served United States
Key people Charlie Ergen
(Chairman)
Joseph P. Clayton
(President & CEO)
Products Direct-broadcast satellite, Pay television, Pay-per-view
Revenue Increase US$ 14.27 billion (2012)
Operating income Decrease US$ 1.22 billion (2012)
Profit Decrease US$ 637 million (2012)
Total assets Decrease US$ 11.2 billion (2012)
Total equity Decrease US$ -0.42 billion (2011)
Employees 34,000 (2011)
Subsidiaries Blockbuster
DBSD North America
Liberty Bell Telecom
Website
References: [1][2]

The Dish Network Corporation, re-branding its consumer TV service simply as DISH, is an American 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 March 2013, the company provided services to just over fourteen million subscribers[3] and has approximately 34,000 employees (with more than 25,000 employees located within the United States).[4] The company is headquartered in Meridian, Colorado, though the postal designation of nearby Englewood is used in the corporate mailing address.[2]

In January 2008, Dish Network was spun-off from EchoStar, its former parent company, which was founded by Charlie Ergen as a satellite television equipment distributor in 1980.[1] The company began using Dish Network as its consumer brand in March 1996, 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,[5] while Charlie Ergen remains chairman. 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.[6]

Services

Dish Network'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 Video, it now runs the Blockbuster stores and has used its intellectual property agreement to offer streaming and mail-order video services.

DishOnline is Dish Network's subscriber-only streaming video service, which includes HBO and Cinemax programming.[7]

In May 2012, the American Customer Satisfaction Index ranked Dish Network second among American television providers.[8][9]

Tailgater

Tailgater is a portable satellite antenna; the tailgater is able to be purchased as a standalone device for $350, or can be purchased together with the only compatible receiver, a Vip211k, for $499. Customers only need pay for the period of time where the receiver is active on the dish account, monthly cost for a Vip211k 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 Networks 119 (SD TV), 110 (SD TV), and 129 (HD TV) orbital slots. [10]

Hopper

In March 2012,[11] Dish began offering a digital video recorder called Hopper that can automatically record prime time programming on the four major television networks.[12] The DVR, which costs $12 per month, has three tuners and 2 TB of 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.[13][14] A Hopper feature, called Auto Hop, enables customers to view these programs without commercials, subject to time restrictions. Auto Hop has attracted enthusiasts, critics, boycotts and legal action.[15] At the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show Dish won an award for their Auto Hop feature on the Hopper.[16]

Hopper with Sling

At the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, Dish announced the Hopper with Sling, an updated version of the Hopper with Slingbox place-shifting 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 also allows recordings to be downloaded directly to the device for offline viewing, but has decided not to support the also popular Android devices 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. 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) and a Broadcom BCM7425 CPU.[17]

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 parent company CBS Corporation vetoed the results, disqualified the device, and forced a re-vote because CBS was in active litigation with Dish.[18][19] After complaints by critics (including Consumer Electronics Association 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).[20]

DishWorld

Also, in May 2012, Dish launched the service DishWorld on the Roku streaming player. This broadband service provides international programming to subscribers of the DishWorld service. Customers do not need to be a satellite or cable customer to subscribe.[21][22] As of August 2013, DishWorld subscribers are given access to 13 English language stations. Most of the stations are news stations such as Bloomberg Television or RT (TV network), other networks include BabyTV as well as 4 sports stations. DishWorld is an example of Roku boxes being a replacement for larger set top boxes.

DishNet

On September 27, 2012, Dish Network announced a satellite broadband service called DishNet, aimed at rural areas, to be launched on October 1.[23]

History

Founding and early growth

Dish Network officially began operations in March 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,[1] 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 and was granted access to orbital slot 119° west longitude in 1992.[24]

On December 28, 1995, EchoStar successfully launched its first satellite, EchoStar I. With this and the completion of the construction of the satellite uplink center in Cheyenne, Wyoming, The Dish Network brand name was born to represent the home satellite TV service. In March 1996, the company made its first broadcast to customers.

In 1998, EchoStar purchased the broadcasting assets of a satellite broadcasting joint venture of News Corporation's ASkyB and MCI Worldcom. With this purchase 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. The acquisition inspired the company to introduce a multisatellite 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.

HD expansion

In January 1999, the company released the industry's first High-definition television (HDTV) tuner. In August 2003, the company launched 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 millionth customer.

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 CONUS slot. 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 original Echostar into two separate businesses.[25] 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.

Acquisitions and diversification

In 2011, Dish Network spent over $3 billion in acquisitions of companies in bankruptcy,[26] which Motley Fool's Anders Bylund described as "a veritable buying rampage in the bargain bin."[27] 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.[28] Dish Network also acquired the defunct companies DBSD and Terrestar.[26] Dish Network also made a bid to purchase Hulu on October 2011, but Hulu's owners chose not to sell the company.[29] There was also speculation that Dish Network might purchase Sprint Nextel or Clearwire.[30] In 2013, Dish made a bid for both companies. CEO Charles Ergen plans on adding wireless internet and mobile video services that can compete with Netflix and cable companies.[26] 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."[26]

Dish Network put its Blockbuster acquisition to work by announcing Blockbuster movie pass, which allows on-demand movies, game and DVD rentals, and online streaming services for a flat monthly fee. Dish Network plans a similar service for non-Dish Network customers. As Blockbuster had agreements that allow it to receive DVDs 28 days earlier than Netflix, the new service could be major competition.[26]

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 Positioning Systems.[31]

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".[32]

After changing the position of a satellite orbital position from being over Mexico to 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 the Brazilian Agency of Telecommunications (Anatel), they await the authorization of the application.[33]

Technical information

Satellite dishes

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 Sanmina, Dish Network receivers were produced at factories in Huntsville, Alabama and Fountain, Colorado. Currently, 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,[34] 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.[35][36] The 119°W slot is one of two primary orbital locations, the other being 110°W, that provide core services.[37][38]

After 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. Since 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 these channels exclusive to these newer systems are H2, Boomerang, Science, Planet Green, and Comedy Central.

Higher capacity satellite dishes

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 locations. Originally, 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 fade. Later 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).


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.

Broadcast technology

While for years Dish Network has used standard MPEG-2 for broadcasting, the addition of bandwidth-intensive HDTV in a limited-bandwidth world has called for a change to an H.264/MPEG-4 AVC system. 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[39] 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 2010, Dish Network charges $6.00 as a DVR service fee, which covers cost of licensing EPG (electronic program guide) from TV Guide.

Satellite fleet

Most of the satellites used by Dish Network are owned and operated by EchoStar. Since 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
Satellite Location (Degrees West) Launched Type Notes
EchoStar XV 61.5 02010-07-10July 10, 2010 Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) FS-1300

A CONUS only satellite.

Echostar XII 61.5 02003-07-17July 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 to EchoStar in 2005. Renamed EchoStar 12 in March 2006. Currently only used for spotbeam capabilities.
EchoStar III 61.5 01997-10-05October 5, 1997 Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space A2100AX Replaced by EchoStar XV. Now serving as an in orbit spare.
Nimiq 5 72.7 02009-09-17September 17, 2009 Space Systems/Loral LS-1300 A Canadian satellite operated by Telesat Canada. Echostar leases the satellite's capacity.
EchoStar VI 77 02000-07-14July 14, 2000 Space Systems/Loral FS-1300 Replaces EchoStar VIII.
EchoStar VIII 77 02002-08-21August 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 further testing.
EchoStar I 77 01995-12-28December 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.
EchoStar IV 77 01998-05-08May 8, 1998 Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space A2100AX This satellite had a launch issue, is now in an inclined orbit and is not currently operational. It largely serves as a placeholder for EchoStar slots.
EchoStar X 110 02006-02-15February 15, 2006 Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space A2100AX
EchoStar XI 110 02008-07-16July 16, 2008 SS/L 1300
Anik F3[40] 118.75 02007-04-12April 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 EchoStar from 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.
EchoStar VII 119 02002-02-21February 21, 2002 Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space A2100AX Currently 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.
Echostar XIV 119 02010-03-20March 20, 2010 Space Systems/Loral FS-1300 Replaced Echostar VII.
EchoStar IX/ Galaxy 23 121 02003-08-07August 7, 2003 Space Systems/Loral FS-1300 Customers use SuperDish 121 to receive this non-DBS, medium-powered signal. Satellite is jointly owned by EchoStar and Intelsat. The Ku band is owned by EchoStar. Ka band payload owned by EchoStar and is used for leased closed-circuit broadcasts as of March 2011. C band payload owned by Intelsat and is known as Galaxy 23.
Non-DBS
Programming has now been removed from EchoStar IX and is being provided from 118.7
Ciel-2 129 02008-12-10December 10, 2008 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 spotbeam locals.
EchoStar V Deorbited from 148 01999-09-23September 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 spotbeams at other locations. The satellite was to serve as a placeholder for 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.

Criticisms and controversies

Main article: Criticism of Dish Network

Management

  • Charlie Ergen, Co-founder, Chairman of the Board[41]
  • Joseph Clayton, President and Chief Executive Officer[42]
  • James DeFranco, Co-founder, Executive Vice President, Special Advisor to the CEO[43]
  • Michael Kelly, President, Blockbuster LLC[44]
  • W. Erik Carlson, Executive Vice President, Operations[45]
  • Thomas A Cullen, Executive Vice President, Corporate Development[46]
  • R. Stanton Dodge, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary[47]
  • Bernard L. Han, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer[48]
  • Robert E. Olson, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer[49]
  • Dave Shull, Executive President, Chief Commercial Officer[50]
  • Amir Ahmed, Senior Vice President, Sales[51]
  • Vivek Khemka, Senior Vice President, Product Management
  • Mike McClaskey, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer
  • James Moorhead, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer
  • Brian Neylon, Senior Vice President, Sales Planning, Administration and Direct Sales
  • Warren Schlichting, Senior Vice President, Ad Sales

See also

References

External links

  • Dish Network Mexico