Tags: dish | merger | directv | inevitable

Dish Chairman Predicts DirecTV Merger as 'Inevitable'

Dish Chairman Predicts DirecTV Merger as 'Inevitable'
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By    |   Monday, 10 August 2020 03:43 PM

U.S. satellite TV provider Dish Network Corp. Chairman Charlie Ergen reportedly predicts his company will eventually merge with rival DirecTV.

Ergen said the long-rumored merger of AT&T-owned DirecTV and Dish was "inevitable" although the timing of such a deal remains unclear in his view.

“Is it one month from now or two years from now? I don’t know,” he told told investment analysts and press during Dish’s second-quarter earnings call Friday.

Ergen spoke after Dish reported fewer second-quarter subscriber losses than analysts expected, in a slight respite from relentless cord cutting by pay-TV customers.

Ergen has floated the merger scenario numerous times in recent years, noting that antitrust regulators have indicated they were not ready to bless such a combination, Deadline reported.

Total TV subscribers shrank by 96,000 in the period, Dish said Friday. That compared with the projected loss of 236,750 customers, the average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

The company also reported earnings and sales that beat Wall Street forecasts.

For its part, AT&T said late last month it lost 886,000 TV customers and 154,000 regular monthly wireless subscribers, including phone, watch and tablet users. That was better than analysts’ predictions for a loss of 939,000 TV subscribers and 210,000 wireless defections, Bloomberg reported.

Dish has struggled to retain subscribers for its pay-TV business, as customers shift to online streaming services including those from Netflix Inc. (NFLX), Walt Disney Co. (DIS) and Apple Inc. (AAPL).

Ergen said Dish’s footprint, which emphasizes rural areas and small businesses, will keep its satellite dishes in place for some time, even though subscriber counts are continuing to drift down, Deadline reported.

“There’s a solid group of people in rural America and small businesses… We don’t see that going away,” Ergen said.

Dish closed the quarter with 11.27 million pay-TV subscribers. That’s down from 11.32 million at the end of the first quarter. The company now has 9.02 million Dish TV subscribers and 2.25 million Sling TV subscribers.

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U.S. satellite TV provider Dish Network Corp. Chairman Charlie Ergen reportedly thinks his company will eventually merge with rival DirecTV.
dish, merger, directv, inevitable
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2020-43-10
Monday, 10 August 2020 03:43 PM
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