DISH Network L.L.C
FormerlyEchoStar Communications Corporation (1980-2007)
DISH Network Corporation (2008-2023)
Company typeSubsidiary
Industry
Founded
  • 1980; 44 years ago (1980) (as EchoStar Communications Corporation)
  • January 1, 2008; 16 years ago (2008-01-01) (as Dish Network Corporation)
Founders
  • Jim DeFranco
  • Charlie Ergen
  • Cantey Ergen
Headquarters
Area served
Americas
Key people
Products
RevenueDecrease US$17.437 billion (2022)
Decrease US$2.675 billion (2022)
Decrease US$2.065 billion (2022)
Total assetsIncrease US$49.858 billion (2022)
Total equityIncrease US$16.549 billion (2022)
Number of employees
c. 14,200 (December 2022)
ParentEchoStar
Subsidiaries
Websitewww.dish.com

DISH Network L.L.C. (an acronym for "Digital Sky Highway"[1]), a subsidiary of EchoStar, provides multichannel television and satellite television via Dish Network, mobile phone service via Dish Wireless, Boost Mobile, and Boost Infinite, as well as over-the-top IPTV service via Sling TV.

History

Original logo as EchoStar Communications used from 1980 to 2007.
Dish Network brand logo used by EchoStar from 2000–2005.

Founding, early growth and launch of DBS services

The company was formed in 1980 as EchoStar Communications by Charlie Ergen, Candy Ergen, and Jim DeFranco, as a distributor of C-band satellite television systems.[2] In 1987, EchoStar applied for a satellite television broadcast license with the FCC and was granted access to orbital slot 119° west longitude in 1992.[citation needed] A year after the launch of its first satellite, EchoStar I,[3] EchoStar launched its DBS broadcast services under the Dish Network name on March 4, 1996.[1] That launch marked the beginning of its television services under a subscription business model.

Spin-off of infrastructural assets

In January 2007, EchoStar Communications completed the corporate spin-off of its technology and infrastructure assets into a separate company under the EchoStar name, and the remainder of the company was renamed DISH Network Corporation.[4][5][6][7]

Acquisitions and expansion

Joseph Clayton became president and chief executive officer of the company in June 2011, while Charlie Ergen remained chairman.[8] Clayton remained in the position until March 31, 2015, when he retired, leaving Ergen to resume the post.[9][10] In December 2017, Ergen was replaced by Erik Carlson.[11] That same year, Dish Network spent over $3 billion in acquisitions of companies in bankruptcy,[12] This includes the April 6, 2011, purchase of Blockbuster in a bankruptcy auction for $322 million in cash and the assumption of $87 million in liabilities.[13][14][15] After acquiring Blockbuster, Dish Network made available Dish Movie Pack for Dish Network subscribers and Sling TV for non-Dish Network subscribers. Blockbuster also has agreements that allow it to receive movies 28 days before Netflix and Redbox which could encourage customers to use these services.[12]

DISH Network also acquired DBSD and TerreStar Corporation.[12] Dish Network also made a bid to purchase Hulu in October 2011, but Hulu's owners chose not to sell the company.[16] In January 2013, Dish bid $5 billion for Clearwire to add wireless internet and mobile video services.[17][18][19] In April 2013, it made a $25 billion bid for Sprint Corporation.[20][21][22][23]

In 2011, Dish petitioned the Federal Communications Commission 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.[24]

At the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, Dish Network announced a corporate rebranding to "Dish" from "Dish Network".[25]

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 awaited the authorization of the application.[26] In June 2019, nonetheless, DISH TV accepted to resign its satellite exploration rights assigned to EchoStar and thus ending the possibility of entering the Brazilian market.[27]

In 2019, EchoStar transferred the portion of its business which managed and provided broadcast satellite services, referred to as the BSS (Broadcast Satellite Services) business, to DISH to concentrate on broadband services and other initiatives.[28]

In 2020, Dish acquired Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile, Sprint's prepaid businesses, for $1.4 billion from T-Mobile and Sprint. Dish also acquired $3.6 billion of 800 MHz spectrum, Sprint's entire 800 MHz portfolio.[29][30][31][32]

In December 2023, the company was acquired by Echostar.[33][34][35][36]

Criticism and legal issues

Main article: Criticism of Dish Network

DISH and its subsidiaries have faced legal action for some of its questionable practices, including fines for telemarketing tactics such as failure to disclose fees with full transparency.[37][38][39][40]

DISH has been sued and countersued dozens of times. DISH argues that effective litigation is important to corporate operations. One such lawsuit was DISH's use of their Hopper DVR to make it easy for viewers to erase commercials.[41]

In 2023 DISH was fined $150,000 by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for failing to de-orbit its EchoStar VII satellite according to the terms of its license; this was the first fine ever issued to a company over the matter of "space debris".[42]

Removal of regional sports programming

Dish Network has always refused to carry some of the higher-priced regional sports networks, most notably AT&T SportsNet Southwest, YES Network, and Spectrum SportsNet, which have never been available on Dish. The contract of the entire MSG Network had ended on October 1, 2010, early; CSN New England was dropped on August 6, 2014.[43] In July 2019, Dish removed the entire slate of Fox Sports Networks channels (which have since been re-branded as Bally Sports).[44] This was the beginning of a trend with Altitude being removed in August and NBC Sports Chicago in October of that year.[45] On April 1, 2021, Dish removed the remaining NBC Sports Regional Networks and the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. Dish Network president Brian Neylon commented that "The current RSN model is fundamentally broken,” stating that he was in favor of offering the networks as an a la carte service.[46] Six months later on October 1, 2021, Dish removed the entire AT&T SportsNet network of channels.[47][48] In 2022, Dish, alongside Sling made The Walt Disney Company pull their programming from the services. This was only temporary, as they got brought back later. They had previously been pulled from YouTube TV in 2021, and are currently being pulled from Spectrum.

The last remaining regional sports network, NESN, was removed from DISH on December 20, 2021.[49]

2023 ransomware attack

In February 2023, Dish Network suffered a major ransomware attack which resulted in internal outages, loss of service at subsidiary companies such as Boost Mobile, and data theft.[50] The company had to retain outside experts to resolve the issue, and the news caused a slide in the company's share price to a 14-year-low.[51][52] Service outages lasted for more than a month, with customers reporting wait times for customer service stretching to more than 14 hours.[53] In the aftermath of the ransomware attack, Dish Network was criticized for lack of transparency or communication with its customers.[54]

Services and devices

Year Subscribers[55]
1996 350,000
1997 1,040,000
1998 1,900,000
1999 3,400,000
2000 5,260,000
2001 6,830,000
2002 8,180,000
2003 9,425,000
2004 10,905,000
2005 12,040,000
2006 13,105,000
2007 13,780,000
2008 13,678,000
2009 14,100,000
2010 14,133,000
2011 13,967,000
2012 14,056,000
2013 14,057,000
2014 13,978,000
2015 13,897,000
2016 13,671,000
2017 13,242,000
2018 12,322,000
2019 11,986,000
2020 11,290,000
2021 10,707,000
2022 10,018,000

DISH's main service is satellite television and its offerings are comparable 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 to premium channels such as HBO or Showtime. The company is currently working on diversifying its offerings. With its purchase of Blockbuster LLC, DISH owns the Blockbuster trademarks and has used its intellectual property agreement to offer streaming and mail-order video services.

DishNET

See also: Satellite Internet access

On September 27, 2012, DISH Network announced a satellite broadband service called DishNET, aimed at rural areas where cable is often not available.[56]

Dish Wireless

In 2019, DISH entered an agreement as part of the Sprint/T-Mobile merger in which DISH would acquire Sprint's prepaid wireless businesses, including Boost Mobile.[57] As part of this agreement, DISH became the 4th-largest major wireless carrier in the United States.[58] After the merger was approved by the Justice Department, DISH announced plans to "deploy a facilities-based 5G broadband network capable of serving 70% of the U.S. population by June 2023."[58]

On July 1, 2020, DISH officially purchased Boost Mobile from T-Mobile for $1.4 billion.[59] With this purchase it officially launched its wireless business, DISH Wireless, LLC, offering prepaid service through the Boost brand as an MVNO on the T-Mobile network.[30] DISH stated intentions to offer branded postpaid service in the future with the build-out of their own network.[30] DISH also intends to have the first standalone, 5G-only network in the United States.[30]

On July 19, 2021, DISH signed a $5 billion contract with AT&T and becoming a new AT&T MVNO within approximately two years. As a result, DISH Wireless customers will be able to roam on AT&T's 4G and 5G while DISH is continuously building its 5G-only network. The previous roaming agreement with T-Mobile remained unchanged.[60]

On May 4, 2022, Dish announced it had released its 5G network live to consumers in Las Vegas in addition to listing 113 cities for the next phase of roll out by the end of June. The service named "Project Genesis" is currently only compatible with the latest Motorola Edge Plus.[61]

OnTech Smart Services

DISH launched the direct-to-consumer smart home technology brand OnTech Smart Services in 2019; initially available in 11 metropolitan areas, the brand offers smart home devices and installation services.[62]

Blockchain and cryptocurrency

DISH has been described as the first large company to accept cryptocurrency and being “comfortable with cryptocurrency”. The company has accepted Bitcoin since 2014. Four years later it began accepting Bitcoin Cash. In September 2021, it announced a partnership with Input Output Global (formerly known as IOHK) to build subscription services based on the Cardano blockchain.[63] The following month it set up a system to expand 5G mobile network through customers using the Citizens Broadband Radio Service with rewards paid in cryptocurrency.[64]

Charitable causes

DISH Cares was launched in 2014 and focuses on community engagement, sustainability, and providing services following disasters.[65] The company has engaged in disaster relief efforts, including after Hurricanes Katrina, Harvey, Irma, and Maria.[66][67][68]

Technical information

Broadcast technology

For years DISH used standard MPEG-2 for broadcasting, but the addition of bandwidth-intensive HDTV called for a change to the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC system. DISH announced that, from February 1, 2006, all new HDTV channels would be available in H.264 format only, while maintaining the current lineup as MPEG-2. The company intended to convert the entire platform to H.264 to provide more channels to subscribers. In 2007, DISH Network reduced the resolution of 1080-line channels from 1920x1080 to 1440x1080. Reducing the horizontal resolution and/or data rate of HD video is known as HD Lite and is done by other TV providers as well.[citation needed]

Both a standard receiver and a receiver with built-in digital video recorder (DVR) were available to subscribers.[69] The DISH Network ViP722 HD DVR replacement for the ViP622 received generally positive reviews.[70] It could record up to 350 hours of standard-definition (SD) broadcasts, or 55 hours of high-definition (HD). These set-top boxes (STBs) allow for HD on the primary TV and SD on the secondary TV (TV2) without a secondary box on TV2.

Receivers and devices

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,[71] and was commonly used as a second dish to receive additional high-definition or international programming from either the 148°W or 61.5°W orbital locations.[72][73] The 119°W slot is one of two primary orbital locations, the other being 110°W, that provide core services.[74][75]

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 provided value-added channels in addition to local channels that could only be received with the DISH 500 and newer systems. Some of the channels exclusive to these newer systems were H2, Boomerang, Science, Planet Green, PBS Kids Sprout and Comedy Central.

Tailgater

The Tailgater is a portable satellite antenna; the tailgater can be purchased as a standalone device for $350. The Tailgater is compatible with the Wally and VIP211 receivers. Customers only need to pay for the period of time where the receiver is active on the account, the monthly cost for a Vip211 or Wally is $7 per month, if the receiver is the only one on the account, there is no charge.[76] 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's 119 (SD/HD TV), 110 (SD/HD TV), and 129 (SD/HD TV) orbital slots.[77]

Wally

The Wally is a solo-receiver without a built in digital video recorder (DVR).

Hopper and Joey

Main article: Hopper (DVR)

DISH HD, newest version used with the Hopper and Joey system

Hopper is a line of multi-tuner set-top boxes first introduced in 2012; they are digital video recorders that can be networked with accompanying "Joey" set-top boxes for multi-room access to recordings. DISH Network subsequently introduced updated versions of the Hopper, including Hopper with Sling (which adds integrated placeshifting capabilities), the Hopper 3, and the Hopper Plus [78] which features 4K support and 16 tuners. Hopper supports a voice-activated remote,[79][80][81][82][83][84] as well as Amazon Echo and Google Home integration.[85][86]

Apps

DISH Anywhere

DISH Anywhere is DISH's subscriber-only streaming video service. The DISH Anywhere app combines Sling broadcast technology and internet to bring subscribers DISH content wherever they are.[87] It also pairs with DISH On Demand, a library that has over 80,000 movies and shows.[88]

As of late 2018, HBO and Cinemax were no longer available for DISH customers due to Contract disputes.[89] However, Dish returned HBO and Cinemax programming as of August 2021 [1].

Sling TV

Main article: Sling TV

In May 2012, DISH launched DISHWorld, a subscription-based over-the-top streaming IPTV service, as an app on Roku devices, offering access to over 50 international television channels via broadband streaming.[90]

In 2014, DISH Network began to reach carriage deals with broadcasters for a new over-the-top service that would be aimed towards cord cutters as a low-cost alternative to traditional pay television.[91] On January 5, 2015, DISH Network officially unveiled Sling TV, an over-the-top IPTV service designed to complement subscription video on-demand services such as Hulu and Netflix.[92]

Some broadcasters have been hesitant about over-the-top services such as Sling TV, showing concern that they may undermine their carriage deals with larger conventional cable, satellite and Internet TV providers. Time Warner initially noted that the carriage of its channels on the service was only for a "trial" basis, while both Time Warner's CEO Jeffrey Bewkes and an analyst from the firm Macquarie Capital disclosed that current contract language in DISH's OTT carriage deals with the service's content distributors would cap the number of subscribers that the service is allowed to have at any given time to 5 million. Neither DISH Network or its content providers have confirmed any such cap.[93][94][95] As of January 2022, the service has reached 2.49 million subscribers.[96]

Satellite fleet

Until 2019, most of the satellites used by DISH Network were owned and operated by EchoStar Corporation. DISH frequently moves satellites among its many orbiting slots so this list may not be accurate. Refer to Lyngsat and DISH Channel Chart for detailed satellite information.

DISH Network satellites
Satellite Location (degrees west) Launched Type Notes
EchoStar I 77 December 28, 1995 Lockheed Martin Astro Space Series 7000 (AS-7000) Can carry a limited number of services on odd numbered transponders. DISH is not licensed to serve CONUS customers in the United States from this location but may transmit local stations.
EchoStar II 148 September 10, 1996 Ariane 4 On 14 July 2008, EchoStar reported to the SEC that EchoStar II "experienced a substantial failure that appears to have rendered the satellite a total loss". Retired in mid-2008.
EchoStar III 61.5 October 5, 1997 Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space A2100AX Replaced by EchoStar XV and was serving as an in-orbit spare. Placed on graveyard orbit by September 6, 2017.[97]
EchoStar IV 77 May 8, 1998 Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space A2100AX This satellite had a launch issue, is now in an inclined orbit and is not currently[when?] operational. It largely serves as a placeholder for EchoStar slots.
EchoStar V Deorbited from 148 September 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 spot beams 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.
EchoStar VI 77 July 14, 2000 Space Systems/Loral FS-1300 Replaces EchoStar VIII.
EchoStar VII 119 February 21, 2002 Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space A2100AX Currently[when?] 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 VIII 77 August 21, 2002 Space Systems/Loral 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 X 110 February 15, 2006 Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space A2100AXS First seen functioning May 2006 in the 110.0W slot and is still transmitting from the same location as of October 2016.
EchoStar XI 110 July 16, 2008 Space Systems/Loral LS-1300
EchoStar XII 61.5 July 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 spot beam capabilities.
Echostar XIV 119 March 20, 2010 Space Systems/Loral FS-1300 Replaced Echostar VII. EchoStar XIV launched on an International Launch Services Proton/Breeze M vehicle from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Resides at an altitude of 22,000 miles.
EchoStar XV 61.5 July 10, 2010 Space Systems/Loral FS-1300

A CONUS only satellite.

Anik F3[98] 118.75 April 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 DISH 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.
Ciel-2 129 December 10, 2008 Thales Alenia Space Spacebus-4000C4 Replaced EchoStar V at the 129°W orbital location. Owned by Canadian Ciel Satellite Group, DISH leases the entire bandwidth of the Ciel-2 satellite. Provides national HD programming and HD spot beam locals.
Nimiq 5 72.7 September 17, 2009 Space Systems/Loral LS-1300 A Canadian satellite operated by Telesat Canada. DISH leases the satellite's capacity.

Dish Wireless

Dish Wireless LLC
Company typeSubsidiary
IndustryTelecommunications
FoundedJuly 1, 2020; 3 years ago (2020-07-01)
FoundersCharlie Ergen
Headquarters,
United States
Area served
United States
Key people
John Swieringa (President)
ServicesMobile telephony
Wireless broadband
ParentDish Network
DivisionsBoost Infinite
Boost Mobile
Gen Mobile
Ting Mobile
Websitewww.dishwireless.com

Dish Wireless LLC is an American wireless network provider. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dish Network. Dish Wireless was founded on July 1, 2020. Its headquarters is located in Littleton, Colorado.[99][100] Dish Wireless is the fourth-largest wireless carrier in the United States, with 7.50 million subscribers as of the end of Q3 2023.[101]

Dish Wireless provides wireless voice and data services in the United States under the Boost Infinite postpaid brand and the Boost Mobile prepaid brand on its network which is building and expanding. Dish Wireless also uses the AT&T and T-Mobile networks. Dish Wireless is in the process of building their own 5G network which will be the first virtualized standalone 5G broadband network[clarification needed] in the United States. Dish is committed to the FCC on covering 70% of Americans with 5G by the end of June 2023.[102]

Dish Wireless acquired Boost Mobile on July 1, 2020,[30][31] Ting Mobile on August 1, 2020,[103] Republic Wireless on March 8, 2021,[104][105] and Gen Mobile on September 1, 2021.[106]

On July 19, 2021, Dish Wireless announced a network services agreement with AT&T, which includes a 10-year roaming agreement, and the option for AT&T to use Dish's wireless spectrum on their network.[107] The agreement is non-exclusive, and Dish will continue to use T-Mobile's network in addition to AT&T's until that agreement expires in 2027.[108]

In June 2022, Dish Wireless announced it had met the FCC mandate to provide coverage to 20% of the U.S. population. Dish Wireless still must meet the requirement to provide coverage to 70% of the U.S. population by June 14, 2023.[109]

Radio Frequency Spectrum Chart

Further information: 5G NR frequency bands

The following is a list of known frequencies that Dish Wireless employs or plans to employ in the United States.

Frequencies on the Dish Wireless Network
Frequency Band Band number Protocol Generation Status Notes
600 MHz DD n71 NR 5G Active/Building Out[110][111] Network launched in trial in November 2020.[112] Licenses cover 100% of the continental United States.[113]
700 MHz Lower SMH Block E n29 Supplemental downlink only.
1.7/2.1 GHz AWS n66 Combination of Dish's unpaired AWS-3, PCS-H, and AWS-4 holdings.[114][115]
n70
3.4 GHz C-Band n77 Pending deployment Licenses cover 100% of the continental United States. Spectrum acquired in 2021 auction.[116]
3.5 GHz CBRS n48 In Trial/Building Out Licenses cover 100% of the continental United States.[117] Building Out in select areas.
3.7 GHz C-band n77 Pending deployment Spectrum will be available for use starting December 2023.[118]
24 GHz K-Band n258 Spectrum acquired in 2019 auction[119]
28 GHz Ka-Band n261
39 GHz Ka-Band n260 Spectrum acquired in 2020 auction.
47 GHz V-Band n262 Licenses cover 100% of the continental United States.[120]

Cable TV and Satellite internet partner(s)

Fiber Internet[121]
xDSL[121]
Satellite Internet[121]
Cable Internet[121]
Fixed Wireless[121]

See also

References

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