DISH Network has been making a lot of news headlines recently, but not for what you may think. For decades DISH was associated with robust satellite TV options, but the company has begun to pivot over the last few years to more profitable industries. Of course, that pivot has morphed into more of a hard turn as DISH recently announced that they will become the fourth major wireless carrier in the U.S..
CEO Charlie Ergen and DISH clearly have their sites squarely fixed on a 5G wireless framework for the future of the company. That leaves many longtime subscribers wondering: Does DISH Network still offer satellite TV?
Yes! DISH still offers myriad of satellite television and internet packages. The company is committed to supporting those customers, but is faced with the reality of a steadily shrinking subscriber base. Just this last quarter DISH reported a loss of 79,000 satellite subscribers. Yes, they did add 48,000 new Sling customers, but that’s still a net loss of 31,000 customers.
That’s been the story for the last few years. DISH steadily bleeds satellite customers while they slow the losses by growing their Sling TV subscriber base. It’s unlikely that DISH will ever completely abandon their broadcasting roots. While satellite services may slowly become outdated, their Sling TV streaming service shows a lot of promise.
Of course, Sling TV alone is not enough to sustain a company as large as DISH. That’s where their new status as a wireless carrier comes in. Thanks to a recent decision by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), DISH is purchasing Sprint’s prepaid businesses, which includes Boost Mobile. DISH plans to take those assets combine with their billions of dollars worth of Spectrum to become a major wireless carrier in the U.S. almost overnight.
Naturally, a change like that requires a lot of money. DISH has already committed $5 billion as part of the Sprint and T-Mobile deal, and Ergen has been vocal in saying that he’s willing to spend more if it’s needed.
“I’m certainly willing to put more money in this company if that’s what it takes,” said Ergen on a recent earnings call.
It is worth pointing out that all of this planning could be for naught if the Sprint and T-Mobile merger fails to overcome its final obstacle: law suits. The attorneys general of over a dozen states banded together to file a lawsuit objecting to the merger.
DISH is clearly confident that the courts will rule in their favor, but if you’re thinking about investing it is certainly a gamble.
If you are a current satellite customer of DISH Network’s you can rest easy knowing that your television service is not going anywhere anytime soon.