Dish Network

Last updated
Dish Network Corporation
Type Public
Industry Satellite television
Telecommunications [1]
Founded1980;41 years ago (1980) (Original EchoStar)
March 4, 1996;25 years ago (1996-03-04) (Dish Network)
FoundersJim DeFranco
Charlie Ergen
Cantey Ergen
Area served
North America
South America
Key people
Charlie Ergen (Chairman)
Erik Carlson (President and CEO)
Products Direct-broadcast satellite, pay television, pay-per-view, over-the-top media services
RevenueIncrease2.svg US$15.493 Billion (Fiscal Year Ended 31 December 2020) [4]
Increase2.svg US$2.582 Billion (Fiscal Year Ended 31 December 2020) [4]
Increase2.svg US$1.762 Billion (Fiscal Year Ended 31 December 2020) [4]
Total assets Increase2.svg US$38.239 Billion (Fiscal Year Ended 31 December 2020) [4]
Total equity Increase2.svg US$13.780 Billion (Fiscal Year Ended 31 December 2020) [4]
Number of employees
16,000 (2020) [5]
Subsidiaries Dish Wireless
Boost Mobile
Ting Mobile
Republic Wireless
Sling TV
Sling Media
OnTech Smart Services
Footnotes /references
[6] [3]

DISH Network Corporation is an American television provider and the owner of the direct-broadcast satellite provider DISH, commonly known as DISH Network, and the over-the-top IPTV service, Sling TV. Additionally, DISH currently offers a prepaid mobile wireless service, DISH Wireless. On July 1, 2020, DISH acquired Boost Mobile which had 8.89 million customers and intends to add postpaid service as well in the future. [7] [8] Based out of Englewood, Colorado the company has approximately 16,000 employees. [2]



In January 2008, EchoStar Communications Corporation, which was founded by Charlie Ergen as a satellite television equipment distributor in 1980, changed its name to DISH Network Corporation and spun off its technology arm as a new company named EchoStar Corporation. [9] The company had begun using DISH Network as its consumer brand in 1996, [10] after the launch of its first satellite, EchoStar I, in December 1995. [11] That launch marked the beginning of its subscription television services. [10]

Joseph Clayton became president and chief executive officer of the company in June 2011, while Charlie Ergen remained chairman. [12] Clayton remained in the position until March 31, 2015 when he retired leaving Ergen to resume the post. [13] 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. [14] In December 2017, DISH Network announced that Ergen would step down and be replaced by Erik Carlson. [15]

As of November 2016, the company provided services to 13.7 million television and 580,000 broadband subscribers. [16]

Founding and early growth

DISH Network began operations on March 4, 1996, as a service of EchoStar. [10] EchoStar was formed in 1980 by its chairman and chief executive officer, Charlie Ergen, along with colleagues Candy Ergen and Jim DeFranco, as a distributor of C-band satellite television systems. [17] In 1987, EchoStar applied for a direct-broadcast satellite broadcast license with the FCC and was granted access to orbital slot 119° west longitude in 1992.[ citation needed ]

On December 7, 2007, EchoStar announced it would spin off its technology and infrastructure assets into a separate company under the EchoStar name, after which the remainder of the company would be renamed DISH Network Corporation. [18] The spun-off EchoStar began trading on January 3, 2008. [19]

Acquisitions and expansion

In 2011, DISH Network (DISH, an acronym for DIgital Sky Highway [20] ) spent over $3 billion in acquisitions of companies in bankruptcy, [21] which The Motley Fool's Anders Bylund described as "a veritable buying rampage in the bargain bin." [22] 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. [23] DISH Network also acquired the defunct companies DBSD and Terrestar. [21] DISH Network also made a bid to purchase Hulu in October 2011, but Hulu's owners chose not to sell the company. [24] There was also speculation that DISH Network might purchase Sprint Nextel or Clearwire. [25] In 2013, DISH made a bid for both companies. CEO Charles Ergen plans on adding wireless internet and mobile video services[ when? ] that can compete with Netflix and cable companies. [21] 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." [21]

DISH Network put its Blockbuster acquisition to work by making 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. [21]

DISH Network also plans on offering high-speed internet.[ when? ] 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. [26]

At the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, DISH Network announced a corporate rebranding, under which the company would publicly refer to itself as just "DISH" rather than "DISH Network". [27]

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. [28] 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. [29]

On July 26, 2019, DISH announced it had reached an agreement with T-Mobile and Sprint to sell Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile, Sprint's prepaid businesses, for $1.4 billion to DISH Network. They will also sell DISH $3.6 billion of 800 MHz spectrum, Sprint's entire 800 MHz portfolio. DISH customers will be able to use the New T-Mobile Network for seven years. DISH and T-Mobile are currently negotiating the lease of 20,000 cell sites and hundreds of retail stores being decommissioned by the New T-Mobile. [30] The deal for the purchase of all of Sprint's prepaid businesses, including Boost, officially closed on July 1, 2020. [31] [32]

On May 20, 2019, EchoStar announced [33] that it had reached an agreement with DISH to transfer the portion of that company's business which managed and provided broadcast satellite services, referred to as the BSS (Broadcast Satellite Services) business, to DISH in order to concentrate on broadband services and other initiatives. The transaction was completed on September 10, 2019. [33]

Disputes and lawsuits

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. [34] [35] [36] [37]

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. [38]

Removal of regional sports programming

Dish Network has always refused to carry some of the higher-priced regional sports networks, most notably YES Network and Spectrum SportsNet, both of which have never been available on Dish. However, in July 2019 Dish removed the entire slate of Fox Sports Networks channels. [39] This was the beginning of a trend with Altitude being removed in August and NBC Sports Chicago in October of that year. [40] On April 1, 2021, Dish removed the remaining NBC Sports Regional Networks and the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, leaving only four regional sports networks available, three of which are oddly owned by AT&T, the parent company of competitor DirecTV. 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. [41]

Services and devices

YearSubscribers [42]
1996350,000 [43]
19971,040,000 [44]
19981,900,000 [45]
19993,400,000 [46]

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.


On September 27, 2012, DISH Network announced a satellite broadband service called DishNET, aimed at rural areas where cable is often not available. [47]


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. [48] As part of this agreement, DISH became the 4th-largest major wireless carrier in the United States. [49] 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." [49]

On July 1, 2020, DISH officially purchased Boost Mobile from T-Mobile for $1.4 billion. [50] 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. [31] DISH stated intentions to offer branded postpaid service in the future with the build out of their own network. [31] DISH also intends to have the first standalone, 5G-only network in the United States. [31]

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. [51]

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. [52]

Charitable causes

DISH Cares was launched in 2014 and focuses on community engagement, sustainability, and providing services following disasters. [53] The company has engaged in disaster relief efforts, including after Hurricanes Katrina, Harvey, Irma, and Maria. [54] [55] [56]

Technical information

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.[ citation needed ]

Both a standard receiver and a receiver with built-in digital video recorder (DVR) were available to subscribers. [57] 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 [58] from CNET and others. 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, [59] 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. [60] [61] The 119°W slot is one of two primary orbital locations, the other being 110°W, that provide core services. [62] [63]

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 is a portable satellite antenna; the tailgater can be purchased as a standalone device for $350. The Tailgater is now being supported by a Wally receiver, to replace the still supported 211k model. Customers only need pay for the period of time where the receiver is active on the account, monthly cost for a Vip211k or Wally is $7 per month, if the receiver is the only one on the account, there is no charge. [64] 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. [65]


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

Hopper and Joey

DISH HD, newest version used with the Hopper and Joey system DishHD2012.jpg
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), and the Hopper 3, which features 4K support and 16 tuners. Hopper supports a voice-activated remote, [66] [67] [68] [69] [70] [71] as well as Amazon Echo and Google Home integration. [72] [73]


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. [74] It also pairs with DISH On Demand, a library that has over 80,000 movies and shows. [75]

As of late 2018, HBO and Cinemax are no longer available for DISH customers due to Contract disputes. [76]

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. [77]

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. [78] 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. [79]

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. [80] [81] [82] As of May 2019, the service has 2.4 million subscribers. [83]

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 this list may not be accurate. Refer to Lyngsat and DISH Channel Chart for detailed satellite information.

DISH Network satellites
SatelliteLocation (degrees west)LaunchedTypeNotes
EchoStar I 77December 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 148September 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 61.5October 5, 1997 Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space A2100AXReplaced by EchoStar XV and was serving as an in-orbit spare. Placed on graveyard orbit by September 6, 2017. [84]
EchoStar IV 77May 8, 1998 Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space A2100AXThis 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 148September 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 77July 14, 2000 Space Systems/Loral FS-1300 Replaces EchoStar VIII.
EchoStar VII 119February 21, 2002 Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space A2100AXCurrently[ 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 77August 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 110February 15, 2006 Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space A2100AXSFirst seen functioning May 2006 in the 110.0W slot and is still transmitting from the same location as of October 2016.
EchoStar XI 110July 16, 2008 Space Systems/Loral LS-1300
EchoStar XII 61.5July 17, 2003 Lockheed Martin AS-2100Originally 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 119March 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 61.5July 10, 2010 Space Systems/Loral FS-1300

A CONUS only satellite.

Anik F3 [85] 118.75April 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 129December 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 72.7September 17, 2009 Space Systems/Loral LS-1300A Canadian satellite operated by Telesat Canada. DISH leases the satellite's capacity.

Dish Wireless

Dish Wireless LLC
Type Subsidiary
Industry Telecommunications
FoundedJuly 1, 2020;13 months ago (2020-07-01)
Founders Charlie Ergen
United States
Area served
United States
Key people
John Swieringa (President)
Services Mobile telephony
Wireless broadband
Parent Dish Network
Divisions Boost Mobile
Ting Mobile
Republic Wireless

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 are located in Littleton, Colorado. [86] [87] Dish Wireless is the fourth-largest wireless carrier in the United States, with 8.89 million subscribers as of the end of Q1 2021. [88]

Dish Wireless provides wireless voice and data services in the United States under the Boost Mobile brand and will provide services under its own brand after its network is built. Dish Wireless is currently using T-Mobile's network for 7 years due to an agreement between Dish and T-Mobile. Dish Wireless is in the process of building their own 5G network which will be the first virtualized standalone 5G broadband network in the United States. Dish is committed on covering 70% of Americans with 5G by the end of June 2023. [89]

Dish Wireless acquired Boost Mobile on July 1, 2020, [31] [32] Ting Mobile on August 1, 2020, [90] and announced plans to acquire Republic Wireless on March 8, 2021. [91] [92]

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. [93] 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. [94]

Radio Frequency Spectrum Chart

Frequency BandBand numberStatusNotes
600 MHz DD n71 In Trial/Building OutNetwork launched in trial on November 2020. [95] Licenses cover 100% of the continental United States. [96]
700 MHz Lower E Block n29 Pending deploymentSupplemental downlink only.
850 MHz ESMR / E-CLR n26 Awaiting spectrum purchaseCurrently in use by Sprint's LTE and CDMA networks. Dish has agreed to purchase this spectrum from T-Mobile by as early as 2023. [97]
1.7/2.1 GHz AWS n66 In Trial/Building Out [98] Combination of Dish's unpaired AWS-3, AWS-H, and AWS-4 holdings. [99] [100]
3.5 GHz CBRS n48 Pending deploymentLicenses cover 100% of the continental United States. [101]
47 GHz V-band n262 Licenses cover 100% of the continental United States. [102]

See also

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Sling TV is an American streaming television service operated by Sling TV LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dish Network. Unveiled on January 5, 2015, at the Consumer Electronics Show, the virtual multichannel video programming distributor aims to complement subscription video on demand services for cord cutters, offering a selection of major cable channels and OTT-originated services that can be streamed through smart TVs, digital media players and apps. The service is available in the United States and Puerto Rico as of 2015.

Sky Direct

Sky Direct was a direct-broadcast satellite subscription television service in the Philippines owned and operated by Sky, a subsidiary of ABS-CBN. Sky Cable has been eyeing for a DBS service and considered on acquiring Dream Satellite TV from Antonio O. Cojuangco, Jr. The acquisition of Dream was reported to have reached an advanced stage but for some undisclosed reasons, the deal was not sealed. Sky's entry to the DBS market was hindered by various oppositions from the industry, citing legal issues and the slow growth of the pay TV market in the country. On December 23, 2015, Sky was granted by the NTC a provisional authority to operate and maintain a DBS service in 251 cities and municipalities in the country for a period of 18 months. Sky Direct offers both prepaid and postpaid packages with exclusive channels from ABS-CBN and Creative Programs such as ABS-CBN HD, ABS-CBN News Channel, ABS-CBN Sports+Action HD, Cinema One, Jeepney TV, Metro Channel, Liga, and Myx. As of March 2019, Sky Direct has over 1 million subscribers.

Orby TV was an American direct broadcast satellite provider based in Burbank, California. Founded in 2019, Orby transmitted digital satellite television and audio to households within the United States and territories on Pan-American satellite Eutelsat 117 West A. The company's primary competitors were Dish Network, DirecTV and cable television providers. Orby TV's CEO was Michael Thornton, the former chief executive officer for Starz, as well as former Programming Director at DirecTV. On March 1, 2021, the company shut down and service ended abruptly due to the company running out of operating capital. The company website was updated with a short text page recommending customers switch to DISH Network through a limited-time partnership discount.


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