Ergen: DISH/DirecTV merger “inevitable”
February 20, 2020
By Chris Forrester
Charlie Ergen, founder and Chairman of DISH Network, speaking after the pay-TV company’s latest quarterly results, said that a merger between DISH and current arch-rival DirecTV (now owned by AT&T) is likely because growth in TV is not coming from linear [broadcasting].”
Responding to a question about the bigger picture for satellite-delivered DTH, Ergen said a merger was “probably inevitable,” adding: “Having said that, obviously there still could be regulatory issues there. And we’ll have to see how that all develops, but that’s to me seems, and maybe each company only has two subscribers when you put them together, but eventually those two are probably going to, that’s going to make some sense because you just can’t swim upstream against a real tide of the over-the-top, big players.”
Ergen also explained where his ambitions were for the ‘Boost’ cellular brand which will soon be owned by DISH. “We’re starting at a very low base with approximately 9 million Boost customers. So obviously, versus the 100 plus million that the other 3 incumbents will have. So we’re going to be very low base there. Having said that, we think that there is some opportunity in that marketplace and one size doesn’t fit all. We don’t have all the answers to everything we’re going to do, but we have 39 years of experience and a management team that knows how to deal with uncertainty and knows how to take advantage of opportunities that the marketplace presents.”
As to DISH Network’s quarterly numbers, it reported that pay-TV subscribers fell 194,000 to about 12 million split between 9.4 million for DISH and 2.59 million for SlingTV.
ARPU rose to $87.02 per month (from $85.55).