New Dish CEO: More acquisitions likely

Joe Clayton, the incoming chief executive of Dish Network, has revealed that more acquisitions are on the horizon as the satellite TV provider pieces together a “new video model” to compete with other pay-TV operators and new players such as Netflix.

Clayton told The Associated Press that recent acquisitions provided the framework for a model that would transform Dish’s video delivery business. Dish acquired bankrupt video rental chain Blockbuster in April 2011. In February, Dish agreed to buy Hughes Communications, a provider of Internet access through satellites, and DBSD North America, which provides both satellite and land-based communications services. DBSD was also bought out of bankruptcy.

“We put the straight pieces of the puzzle together on the edges, now we’re filling in the middle,” Clayton said, suggesting that Dish would look at buying companies to complement either Blockbuster or make use of DBSD’s wireless spectrum. “The basic building blocks are in place to add additional ones on top of it for, like I said, a landscaping change in the industry,” he explained.

Clayton, 61, was named CEO on May 16 and is set to take the reins from the company’s majority owner, Charlie Ergen, in June. Clayton said he will take over the day-to-day management of Dish while Ergen focuses on the strategic direction of the company. Ergen will remain Dish’s chairman.

Clayton claimed Dish had not given up on plans to challenge Netflix in the business of streaming video over the Internet. “If I were them, I’d be watching what’s going on,” he said. “I’d stay tuned. Because no one’s going to have a monopoly on this and I’m sure it’s not just our company that’s looking at trying to take a small piece of the pie from Netflix.”

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