Dish Network Still Has a Problem

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Dish networkDish Network (DISH) -- and its subscribers -- dodged a bullet this week.

The country's second largest satellite television provider has secured a deal with Gannett (GCI) to continue broadcasting local television channels in some of its markets.

Gannett is best known as the parent company of USA Today, but the diversified media company also operates CBS, ABC, and NBC affiliates in 19 different cities.

The two sides were negotiating over carriage rights. If a compromise hadn't been reached on Monday, Dish Network subscribers in those 19 markets would have been blacked out of those seemingly "free" stations.

Score One for The Hopper

Terms of the renewal weren't made public, but Dish Network is on the record as offering to pay up for access. It was publicly complaining that Gannett wanted a 300% rate increase, even as it was offering to pay more than 200% above what it's presently paying.

Why did Gannett want so much out of the fledgling satellite television provider, which has a habit of playing hardball with cable networks? Well, if you've seen any of the Dish Network ads promoting "The Hopper," you know what the local affiliates are fearing.

Dish Network's new DVR allows subscribers to record six shows at the same time. But the real controversial magic comes in the device's ability to zap through commercials. Folks have been able to blaze through ads since the original TiVo (TIVO) hit the market, but Dish Network's Auto Hop technology flies through commercials automatically.

Fearing that its stations would be missing out on local ad revenue, Gannett wanted to make sure that it was being compensated in the form of substantially higher carriage fees.

Mad Men Walking

The four major networks are already locking horns with Dish Network in legal proceedings over Auto Hop, but there's plenty for Dish Network to worry about even before the lawyers slug it out.



For starters, Dish Network still hasn't resolved its issue with AMC Networks' (AMCX) channels. Dish Network hasn't had access to AMC's channels for months, and that will become a sticking point later this week when the season premiere of Walking Dead airs -- everywhere but on Dish -- come Sunday.

Dish Network also continues to disappoint investors. Revenue and earnings fell well short of Wall Street expectations in its latest quarter, and Dish also continues to lose subscribers.

Dish Network is down to just 14 million subscribers at a time when even cable and satellite television providers are having a hard time keeping their customers around with a full slate of popular programming.

Dish Network needed this week's Gannett deal, but it's ultimately just one less problem that the company has to tackle.


Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz does not own shares in any of the stocks in this article.


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37 Comments

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DON

Dish has its problems but I have Direct and can't get local channels in HD.

October 12 2012 at 1:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Norman You Hunka

Had DISH until last week when I got fed up with their bickering and not having my favorite local channel. Switched to AT&T U-Verse since I had my wireless internet with them anyway and the gave me one heck of a deal for switching. Also got tired of losing my reception with DISH every time a storm cloud passed over the line of sight with the satellite. Every little rain storm would cause the reception to go out. It was terrible. Never had that happen with cable and now that my reception is coming through the phone line, I don't think there will be outage issues unless a crash takes out a pole. Oh well, just my issue.......

October 11 2012 at 10:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
k4jlp

Thats because we don't like paying for 250 channels when I only watch about 12 of them...duh

October 11 2012 at 6:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
john&jan

we have had dish for 8 years and in those years,we have never had a problem.each and every one out there has some people working for them that do not do their job well,that is with any company. we will stay with dish.

October 11 2012 at 4:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Patrice Morgan

I was fed up with cable's service and their prices--no one can beat the price I have with DISH. I have great service and great DVR service. And if I lose service during a storm, it last s a few minutes. When my neighbors lose cable (and their internet and phones) they are out for days. Dish fixes problems over the phone--Cable gives you the the app't --somewhere between 8 and 12.

October 11 2012 at 3:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
stvdan11

DISH TV!!!!!!! I am 63 years old...this is the first time I have ever posted anything on the Internet.....THANK GOD MY SUBSCRIPTION HAS ONLY 5 WEEKS TO GO!!!!!! Dish TV Network is, without a doubt in my mind, the absolute worst company on the planet earth!! They lie to you; they mislead you; they have inexperienced tech support; they lie to you; they cheat you out of your money; they lie to you; they are WORTHLESS in EVERY SENSE OF THE WORD!!! Oh, did I mention that they lie to you? They keep you on hold until you fianlly give up. They pass you around to different people because no one knows what they're doing. I'll be changing over to Direct TV in 5 weeks!!!! If it were not for Direct TV and my only choice was Dish, I would rather go without TV. In all of my years I have NEVER experienced a company like Dish TV. They are a bunch of lying, thieving crooks!! If there is an attorney out there that reads this and wants to start a Class Action suit, PLEASE contact me!! My email address is easy enough to figure out from my name above and I am on AOL. I realize that no one reading this knows me but if you want the advise of a successful, retired businessman and a retired Sgt. Major (25 years in the US Army) don't use Dish TV!! I can't stand Time Warner because they advertise commercials in Spanish. This is America, I am an American and I don't feel that it's fair or proper that I have to listen to ads on TV in Spanish. But if I had to choose, I would go back to Time Warner and learn to speak spanish rather than do business with Dish TV. I would not subscribe to Dish TV if it were for free!!! I hate that company as much as I hate people that hurt children. Dish TV is rotten to the core and they are nothing but absolute LIARS AND THIEVES!!!

October 11 2012 at 2:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to stvdan11's comment
Tom

totally agree with you but in addition to what you said but the reception on a cloudy or rainy day is a joke. they will ultimately fol between what you have said and what I said . Like you I would not take their service even if it were free . If they paid me I might take it but then I would pay for another service so I could watch the T.V.

October 11 2012 at 9:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
carfunantic

DISH TV!!!!!!! I am 63 years old...this is the first time I have ever posted anything on the Internet.....THANK GOD MY SUBSCRIPTION HAS ONLY 5 WEEKS TO GO!!!!!! Dish TV Network is, without a doubt in my mind, the absolute worst company on the planet earth!! They lie to you; they mislead you; they have inexperienced tech support; they lie to you; they cheat you out of your money; they lie to you; they are WORTHLESS in EVERY SENSE OF THE WORD!!! Oh, did I mention that they lie to you? They keep you on hold until you fianlly give up. They pass you around to different people because no one knows what they\'re doing. I\'ll be changing over to Direct TV in 5 weeks!!!! If it were not for Direct TV and my only choice was Dish, I would rather go without TV. In all of my years I have NEVER experienced a company like Dish TV. They are a bunch of lying, thieving crooks!! If there is an attorney out there that reads this and wants to start a Class Action suit, PLEASE contact me!! My email address is easy enough to figure out from my name above and I am on AOL. I realize that no one reading this knows me but if you want the advise of a successful, retired businessman and a retired Sgt. Major (25 years in the US Army) don\'t use Dish TV!! I can\'t stand Time Warner because they advertise commercials in Spanish. This is America, I am an American and I don\'t feel that it\'s fair or proper that I have to listen to ads on TV in Spanish. But if I had to choose, I would go back to Time Warner and learn to speak spanish rather than do business with Dish TV. I would not subscribe to Dish TV if it were for free!!! I hate that company as much as I hate people that hurt children. Dish TV is rotten to the core and they are nothing but absolute LIARS AND THIEVES!!!

October 11 2012 at 2:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lillian

I thought I was the only person having problems with Dish. Every month I have to call them about my bill, they give me a credit and tell me to pay just so much. The next month they recharge the credit they gave me and,
are you ready, charge me a late fee for not having paid all of the last bill. I wish I had heard all these things about Dish earlier, I would never, never have signed with them!

October 11 2012 at 1:39 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
napiliseahorse

Besides the weather malfunctions they are so ugly. They are ruining the looks of the city with 4 and 5 on a building. Many cities are trying to ban them from being installed on the fronts of homes. They are the ugliest. Cable runs under ground or in with the phone lines and doesn't go out when it snows or rains . I have seen 9 dishes installed on the front brick face of a four flat building, ugly!!

October 10 2012 at 10:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
napiliseahorse

Besides the weather malfunctions they are so ugly. They are ruining the looks of the city with 4 and 5 on a building. Many cities are trying to ban them from being installed on the fronts of homes. They are the ugliest. Cable runs under ground or in with the phone lines and doesn't go out when it snows or rains . I have seen 9 dishes installed on the front brick face of a four flat building, ugly!!

October 10 2012 at 10:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply