Advanced Television

Ergen: “DISH, DirecTV will melt away without merger”

February 25, 2022

By Chris Forrester

Charlie Ergen, speaking to analysts following his company’s results announcement, said that without a merger between DirecTV and his own DISH Network the risk is that transmissions from the tow pay-TV operators “will just melt away”.

Ergen repeated his previous statements that a merger was inevitable.

“The regulatory reasons to not allow [a merger] don’t exist anymore,” he added. DISH and DirecTV attempted to merge 20 years ago, but US regulators blocked the deal because it would remove a pay-TV player from a market that was then much smaller than the proliferation of suppliers today.

The comments came on top of more bad news for Dish which announced it had lost some 273,000 subscribers during the quarter-year. The losses were significantly worse than market expectations which had anticipated a drop of some 139,000 subs.

Sling TV, Ergen’s OTT service, was also in negative territory which lost 70,000 users and shrinking its overall total to 2.49 million. The pre-results consensus expected Sling to gain around 16,000 subscribers.

The market didn’t care for the news. DISH Network’s share price crashed 13.54 per cent (to $21.13 a share) during the day.

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