Ergen still expects DTH consolidation

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Charlie Ergen, chairman of DISH Network and EchoStar, says he believes that some sort of merger between his own DISH Network and AT&T’s DirecTV is inevitable.

“Is it one month from now or two years from now? I don’t know,” he said during a conference call with analysts reviewing DISH’s Q2 results.

DISH’s subscriber numbers fell back 6 per cent to an overall 11.27 million of which about 9 million were DTH.

Ergen said there was no intention to abandon its DTH business, saying: “There’s a solid group of people in rural America and small businesses. We don’t see that going away.”

Past suggestions that some sort of merger would be sensible have fallen foul of potential anti-trust anxieties. But these days, with broadband increasingly available and the proliferation of streaming services the consumer has a wider choice of entertainment.


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