ENGLEWOOD, Colorado – Amidst a cord-cutting trend in which more than 3 million subscribers have cancelled their subscriptions to pay-TV services, DISH Network has turned to alternate avenues that can help mitigate their substantial losses to cord-cutting.
Being a smaller, TV-focused company, DISH does not have internet plan bundles to offer any customers who opt-out of their subscriptions. This, say, analysts, is the reason DISH had incurred worse losses than its competitors.
To combat their losses, DISH has made two deals that could prove pivotal to its survival as a pay-TV service.
First, DISH is slated to take possession of Sprint’s prepaid wireless service upon the completion of its merger with T-Mobile. Once Sprint is passed over to DISH, it would immediately gain control of Sprint’s 14 MHz wireless spectrum, as well as all 9.3 million current Sprint customers.
DISH can take advantage of this acquisition by evolving it into a nationwide mobile phone service, and use it to promote DISH’s main service.
Market analysts interpret this as a two-pronged move to secure a more stable income stream in the form of a mobile phone business, which is immune to the effects of cord-cutting; as well as gain a vehicle to bundle their satellite TV service with the wireless services offered by Sprint, which would lend its stability to DISH’s main service.
This was done in light of similar actions by competitors, such as Charter and AT&T, who had bundled pay-TV services with internet and phone plans to entice customers.
The other deal is an asset swap DISH had done with EchoStar in September of 2019. The deal, worth $800 million in DISH’s stock, provided DISH with nine new broadcast satellites, as well as operating staff and office space.
This asset transfer would necessarily mean that DISH would be hosting its service in-house rather than under the care of EchoStar, substantially cutting costs.