Charlie Ergen declares war on 'Pay' TV Suppliers

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Charlie Ergen declares war on 'Pay' TV Suppliers

Post by tvroadmin » Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:04 am

Dish's Charlie Ergen Sends Message to TV Industry With Blackout of HBO
By Gerry Smith and Scott Moritz
December 7, 2018, 5:00 AM EST


charlie_ergen.jpg
Charlie Ergen may be the most-loathed negotiator in TV. Clashes between his Dish satellite service and the most-popular channels on air have led to blackouts that rankle subscribers and deprive them of their favorite shows. His Spanish-speaking customers haven’t been able to watch Univision for months.

But even for an executive once called “The Most Hated Man in Hollywood,” the co-founder of Dish Network Corp. has stunned the media industry with his latest standoff. For over a month, HBO has been unavailable to Dish’s 12.7 million subscribers because of a contract dispute. Before Ergen, no one had ever dropped the network in its 46 years.

“There’s a view that he’s almost walking away from the video business,” said Macquarie analyst Amy Yong, who has the equivalent of a sell rating on Dish shares. “You just don’t go dark on HBO.”


By going to war with HBO and Univision, Ergen is sending a message to his suppliers -- media titans like CBS Corp., 21st Century Fox Inc., Walt Disney Co., and AT&T Inc., the parent of HBO. As cord cutting erodes Dish’s subscriber base, Ergen is determined to keep the price of his service down -- even if it means going nuclear. If a network is available elsewhere, either online or free with an antenna, the owners better not ask Dish for more money.

Charlie Ergen may be the most-loathed negotiator in TV. Clashes between his Dish satellite service and the most-popular channels on air have led to blackouts that rankle subscribers and deprive them of their favorite shows. His Spanish-speaking customers haven’t been able to watch Univision for months.

But even for an executive once called “The Most Hated Man in Hollywood,” the co-founder of Dish Network Corp. has stunned the media industry with his latest standoff. For over a month, HBO has been unavailable to Dish’s 12.7 million subscribers because of a contract dispute. Before Ergen, no one had ever dropped the network in its 46 years.

“There’s a view that he’s almost walking away from the video business,” said Macquarie analyst Amy Yong, who has the equivalent of a sell rating on Dish shares. “You just don’t go dark on HBO.”


By going to war with HBO and Univision, Ergen is sending a message to his suppliers -- media titans like CBS Corp., 21st Century Fox Inc., Walt Disney Co., and AT&T Inc., the parent of HBO. As cord cutting erodes Dish’s subscriber base, Ergen is determined to keep the price of his service down -- even if it means going nuclear. If a network is available elsewhere, either online or free with an antenna, the owners better not ask Dish for more money.

“We’re not hard negotiators,” Ergen, Dish’s chairman, said in an interview Thursday at Bloomberg’s New York headquarters. “We’re practical negotiators.”

HBO Blackout

The HBO blackout stems from Ergen’s refusal to meet the network negotiators’ demand that Dish pay for a minimum number of subscribers -- even if the number who actually want the network is smaller.

But Dish’s spat with HBO is about more than just the fine print in a programming contract. It’s also about the tensions flaring up in an industry that feasted for years on ever-rising pay-TV rates and now must compete with low-cost competitors like Netflix Inc., which offers a deep library of movies, TV shows and new original programming for $14 a month.

To compete with these new rivals, media and telecom companies have been bulking up: AT&T paid $85 billion for HBO’s parent company, Time Warner Inc., which also owns CNN and Warner Bros. Disney is paying $71 billion for much of Fox.

Opposed Deal

Dish, the fourth-largest traditional U.S. pay-TV service, opposed the Time Warner merger, arguing it would give AT&T too much power to raise prices for networks like HBO and CNN. AT&T owns DirecTV, which stands to gain subscribers if blackouts at Dish send customers looking elsewhere, Ergen said.

“They’re doing what any capitalistic, Machiavellian company would do,” Ergen said. “They’re saying, ‘I’m going to get your customers by offering you a deal you can’t take.’”

Ergen added that it’s unfair to demand that Englewood, Colorado-based Dish sell HBO for $15 a month when AT&T has made that channel available at a discount to its own wireless customers.

In a statement, HBO Chief Executive Officer Richard Plepler said his company offered to extend the contract deadline so the parties could continue negotiating, but Dish refused. Plepler added that the terms of HBO’s proposal were better for Dish than the current deal.

“The notion that AT&T had anything to do with our inability to reach a reasonable deal with Dish is simply not true,” Plepler said. “It seems to be a silly but transparent attempt on Dish’s behalf to muddy the waters for reasons only they can explain.”

Charlie Ergen may be the most-loathed negotiator in TV. Clashes between his Dish satellite service and the most-popular channels on air have led to blackouts that rankle subscribers and deprive them of their favorite shows. His Spanish-speaking customers haven’t been able to watch Univision for months.

But even for an executive once called “The Most Hated Man in Hollywood,” the co-founder of Dish Network Corp. has stunned the media industry with his latest standoff. For over a month, HBO has been unavailable to Dish’s 12.7 million subscribers because of a contract dispute. Before Ergen, no one had ever dropped the network in its 46 years.

Frequent Fights

Such disputes have become common as cord cutting pressures both TV distributors and programmers to obtain the best possible deal. Dish has become especially aggressive in recent years, with disputes so frequent that “they are now the rule rather than the exception,” said Craig Moffett, an analyst at MoffettNathanson LLC who also recommends selling the stock.

Ergen is a former professional card player, and fighting with HBO may seem like hitting in blackjack with a pair of 10s. But the Dish executive says he’s relying on his background as a former financial analyst. His stand makes sense, he said, and not just because blackouts can pressure channel owners to meet his terms. The savings can exceed the revenue lost when subscribers cancel, he said.

Before beginning negotiations, Dish calculates the value of a TV channel based on how many hours its subscribers tune in. These days, Ergen also takes into account the growing impact of media companies offering their programming to consumers online.

Overexposed ‘Friends’

For example, AT&T’s WarnerMedia recently signed a new contract to supply the popular sitcom “Friends” to Netflix. The show is also available to Dish subscribers on AT&T-owned TBS and on the Paramount Network, owned by Viacom Inc.

“If ‘Friends’ is available on Netflix and 90 percent of our customers have Netflix, do they need to pay for that twice?” Ergen said. “It decreases the value of TBS.”

Dish refused to pay Univision a higher rate because the network’s ratings had declined and consumers could get the channel free with an antenna or for $7.99 a month online without a TV package.

“Univision made every reasonable effort and beyond to reach an agreement, but Dish refused to make a deal that is consistent with our rate in the marketplace and that was in the interests of our mutual consumers,” the Spanish-language broadcaster said in an email.

Customer Losses

In the short term, Dish will lose customers who cancel to watch Univision elsewhere. But in the long term, Ergen said, Dish will gain by lowering subscribers’ monthly bills while giving them a free antenna to watch the network that way.

Ergen may be well-positioned to take a hard line with media companies because investors value Dish largely on wireless spectrum it has acquired and less on its satellite-TV business. He plans to build a wireless network that will deliver ultrafast 5G broadband service, as well as connect driverless cars and dozens of other web-powered gadgets.

But with every channel blackout, Dish’s subscriber losses mount. And even if a network comes back, it’s an open question whether those lost customers will, too. So far this year, Dish has lost 740,000 satellite-TV subscribers, while gaining 158,000 at its lower-priced Sling TV streaming operation. Customer loses totaled almost 430,000 in 2017.

And until the 5G service is available, Dish may be especially vulnerable because the company, unlike pay-TV rivals such as AT&T, Comcast Corp. and Charter Communications Inc., doesn’t have a growing broadband businesses. Dish basically only sells TV service. While Ergen pioneered the idea of a lower-cost “skinny bundle” of channels with Sling TV in 2015, the service has only slowed his customer losses, not reversed them.

Charlie Ergen may be the most-loathed negotiator in TV. Clashes between his Dish satellite service and the most-popular channels on air have led to blackouts that rankle subscribers and deprive them of their favorite shows. His Spanish-speaking customers haven’t been able to watch Univision for months.

But even for an executive once called “The Most Hated Man in Hollywood,” the co-founder of Dish Network Corp. has stunned the media industry with his latest standoff. For over a month, HBO has been unavailable to Dish’s 12.7 million subscribers because of a contract dispute. Before Ergen, no one had ever dropped the network in its 46 years.

Media executives who deal with Ergen say he’s the rare chairman who gets deeply involved in programming negotiations. They describe the Tennessee native who speaks with a slight Southern drawl as smart and charming. They also say he’s ingrained in his staff that they must drive a tough bargain.

But investors may be starting to lose patience while they wait for his ambitious 5G wireless plans to unfold. Dish shares are down 60 percent from their peak in November 2014, while the S&P 500 Index is up 30 percent during that period.

“De-emphasizing video is fine for cable operators; they have broadband to fall back on,” said analyst Moffett. “Dish Network doesn’t. They’re a pure-play video provider.”

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Re: Charlie Ergen declares war on 'Pay' TV Suppliers

Post by tvroadmin » Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:35 am

What he said: If a network is available elsewhere, either online or free with an antenna, the owners better not ask Dish for more money.

So as more programmers move to streaming or back to the FTA model of doing business, Dish will be reluctant to deal with them. Well, streaming will continue to grow as broadband availability continues to grow and the next generation of terrestrial technology (ATSC3.0 and h.265) will allow local broadcasters to transmit a single primary 4K channel and as many as 10 HD diginets on a given frequency. This means most local markets in the metropolitan areas will offer a bewildering 150+ channels in the next decade. And the content of these new diginets will be nothing more than the pay tv subscriptions of today. Delivery will be by c-band because transmitting to 100 metro areas is far cheaper by satellite than by fiber, so those in rural areas will have access to all this programming, just as they do now.

It sounds like Dish is done. Put a fork in it.
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Re: Charlie Ergen declares war on 'Pay' TV Suppliers

Post by user78405 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 2:50 pm

sound like he is very piss now, losing HBO and Univsion and pretty soon FX and FXM then all FOX networks ..like NAT GEO AND WILD...those channels are next to be gone to the wind due to his ambitions..i don't blame him, things happens due to more latin countries owning stocks than americans due to fox network is becoming more latin and more Disney friendly Latin as well...just they have more money than american operators ..lot more in stock purcahase due to CLARO and SKY...so dish is not alone ...directv is suffering as well with latin competitors in the market...more companies are be born like Movistar,starmexico and tigo get in the space with pay tv service FTA friendly like online and gas station selling access cards pay as you go model is very popular in mexico and elsewhere who have fta dish and lnb is lot easier for customers that no longer need to require installers to pay while its compatible with any dish and any standard ku band LnB..

but anyways...my point is, atsc 3.0 won't work indoor antenna for higher bit-rate channels due to current flaw in design....it requires more outdoor antenna to make it work cause tvstations are not gonna operate in high power during next update...so many indoor anternnas will render useless when gonna higher bitrate ...and packing more channels won't help ...i notice they are trying surpass more than 4 channels per every channel...would require bigger antenna from your end...just like cband dishes...thing about Air....i not gonna see any cable channels broadcasting any time soon since majority are comfortable what Ergen said...cable operator territory safe space cband spectrum that not only for cable companies but anyone with 8 foot dish they have access all 50 sats accross the arc ....only difference cable have many of 3 to 5 meter dishes we home users only barely afford 3 dishes at a time..having 3 meter dishes is luxury to us that we can't even afford it..due to over price junk you sell...when will tek2000 start lowering to real value again...??? never or risk losing customers to 5G switchover spectrum..cause sat operators starting to merging transponders from older sats to newer ones like 91w to 117w....while 121w to 135w will cease from operation due to cable operators are changing its encryption to more data IP format like what spectrum cable operator using now ....meaning broadcaster networks gonna from video trasmission to data IPTV data trasmission transponders ...and its growing fast....so cband might have expiration data after all...its not pretty in grim future of yours
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Re: Charlie Ergen declares war on 'Pay' TV Suppliers

Post by tvroadmin » Sun Dec 09, 2018 10:07 am

user78405 wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 2:50 pm
my point is, atsc 3.0 won't work indoor antenna for higher bit-rate channels due to current flaw in design....it requires more outdoor antenna to make it work cause tvstations are not gonna operate in high power during next update...so many indoor anternnas will render useless when gonna higher bitrate ...and packing more channels won't help ...i notice they are trying surpass more than 4 channels per every channel...would require bigger antenna from your end...
Stop spreading bs. Same power as before. Encoding in h.265 instead of mpeg-2 won't require a bigger antenna or more power. The modulation will be different, so yes, a lower S/N if they don't provide enough error correction. The main advantage is they will be able to fit more channels in the same bandwidth.

Current Terrestrial (8VSB / Mpeg-2 / up to 18Mbps)
-Primary HD (8 - 10 Mbps)
-Diginet 1 SD (2 Mbps)
-Diginet 2 SD (2 Mbps)
-Diginet 3 SD (2 Mbps)

Future Terrestrial (OFDM / h.265 / up to 57Mbps)
-Primary 4K (15 - 20 Mbps)
-Diginet 1 HD (4 Mbps)
-Diginet 2 HD (4 Mbps)
-Diginet 3 HD (4 Mbps)
-Diginet 4 HD (4 Mbps)
-Diginet 5 HD (4 Mbps)
-Diginet 6 HD (4 Mbps)
-Diginet 7 HD (4 Mbps)
-Diginet 8 HD (4 Mbps)
-Diginet 9 HD (4 Mbps)
-Diginet 10 HD (4 Mbps)

They will start to roll this out in the next decade. The next generation diginets will just be the pay tv programming of today, just as today's diginets are nothing more than the pay tv content of 5-10 years ago. Delivery will be by the usual method of c-band satellite.

The winners: local tv broadcasters, programmers, studios, c-band satellite operators, tv viewers, advertisers

The losers: Directv, Dish, Rainier :tongue , Cable, IPTV and other linear subscription tv
user78405 wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 2:50 pm
having 3 meter dishes is luxury to us that we can't even afford it..
A C-band dish is not a luxury. A 10-ft mesh dish from our sponsors is only $729 USD. Luxury (and stupidity might I add) is spending $4400+ USD on a silly Rainier package consisting of FTA diginets. :hehehe:

user78405 wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 2:50 pm
due to over price junk you sell...when will tek2000 start lowering to real value again...???
Tek2000 and their low prices are here to stay, whether you and DH satellite like it or not.
user78405 wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 2:50 pm
so cband might have expiration data after all...
I don't think so...over a 1000 local broadcasters depend on it. The content providers depend on it to deliver their diginets. This business model is growing by leaps and bounds, unlike the rest of the (pay) tv industry.
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Re: Charlie Ergen declares war on 'Pay' TV Suppliers

Post by user78405 » Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:50 pm

who gonna believe your BS ...??? your just admin with have no clue whats gonna on outside ??? so take your conserative idealogy and stuff in your throat cause your hurting your customers with sticker shock high price business you running in shorter term...by then you will thank me...so FUCK YOU
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Re: Charlie Ergen declares war on 'Pay' TV Suppliers

Post by tvroadmin » Mon Dec 10, 2018 7:43 am

user78405 wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:50 pm
who gonna believe your BS ...??? your just admin with have no clue whats gonna on outside ??? so take your conserative idealogy and stuff in your throat cause your hurting your customers with sticker shock high price business you running in shorter term...by then you will thank me...so FUCK YOU
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Re: Charlie Ergen declares war on 'Pay' TV Suppliers

Post by belter-one » Mon Dec 10, 2018 1:01 pm

Where's the love, man? :sayno

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Re: Charlie Ergen declares war on 'Pay' TV Suppliers

Post by tvroadmin » Mon Dec 10, 2018 1:44 pm

belter-one wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 1:01 pm
Where's the love, man? :sayno
One cannot love a Viper. :sayno

user78405 = Glenn Musielak

He has been banned from this forum more times than I care to remember, not to mention every other satellite forum (ricks, satelliteguys, etc) This time, he came here to undermine our sponsor, tek2000.

We are not the bad guys. He was originally invited here (before we knew who he was and what he gets up to) to promote C-band, but he turned out to be the Viper from Aesop's Fables:
The Farmer and the Viper

One winter a Farmer found a Viper frozen and numb with cold, and out of pity picked it up and placed it in his bosom. The Viper was no sooner revived by the warmth than it turned upon its benefactor and inflicted a fatal bite upon him; and as the poor man lay dying, he cried, "I have only got what I deserved, for taking compassion on so villainous a creature."

- Kindness is thrown away upon the evil.
If you want to take him into your home, be my guest. :sad:
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Re: Charlie Ergen declares war on 'Pay' TV Suppliers

Post by fatso » Thu Dec 13, 2018 10:05 am

OTA will be the long term winner because it is free. Simple as that.
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Re: Charlie Ergen declares war on 'Pay' TV Suppliers

Post by belter-one » Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:51 am

Thank you,

For the Æsop fable. It's been awhile, but I still enjoy them.

Cheers,

belter-one

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