Advanced Television

Dish in talks with Amazon over US cellular

May 30, 2023

By Chris Forrester

Charlie Ergen’s pay-TV business Dish is reportedly in talks with Amazon about using Ergen’s near-nationwide cellular coverage (and Ergen’s ‘Boost’ mobile service).

Details about the new plans sold through Amazon’s US website could be announced as soon as June, according to the WSJ. Financial terms of any potential arrangement between Dish and Amazon were not revealed.

A Dish spokeswoman told the WSJ the company does “not have any type of distribution plan or partnership with Amazon at this time.”

Despite the denial a flash note from investment bank BNP/Paribas outlined the likely position. The report says that Ergen/Dish had so far failed to execute effectively on the promise of becoming an effective 4th player in US wireless, noting: “There were real questions over whether the company had the funds (consensus is they probably don’t) to complete the network rollout (necessary to keep their spectrum) and if they could have any real impact on the market given a lack of distribution and weak brand position. Amazon would be the silver bullet to this assuming the product is sold under Amazon branding.”

Amazon has some 149 million Prime subscribers in the US.

The bank added: “That does not mean they will be immediately willing to take wireless service from Amazon but the Prime brand cache is likely to make some take the chance. This could become a real problem for the sector if Dish can let Amazon handle distribution and marketing, if it is anything else we doubt it has a major impact.”

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