Charlie Ergen has been with Dish Network since the very beginning. He’s seen quite a bit of change over the last three decades but there has never been a period in the company’s history more pivotal than right now. Ergen is tasked with salvaging the Dish Network brand as the last quarterly earnings paint a bleak picture for the nation’s second largest satellite television provider.
Compared to 2014, last year saw Dish’s earnings drop by nearly $200 million. The company also lost 81,000 pay-TV subscribers last year, even worse than the 79,000 subscribers who canceled their service in 2014. These numbers on their own are not too surprising, given the currently tumultuous state of affairs for all pay-TV providers. However, the real trouble facing Ergen is that after these figures were released, stock prices for Dish plummeted nearly ten percent. This has led to some vocal criticism from the company’s board of directors.
Having heard such criticism before, Ergen, time and again, has stressed that he does have a plan to steer the company through this difficult point. His main plan is to revitalize the company by capitalizing on the expansive airwaves holdings possessed by Dish. Over the last five years, the business has bought up billions of dollars worth of spectrum and plans to spend another $4.5 billion in an FCC-sponsored auction that will be held in March. Knowing that demand for these airways is only going to increase in the years to come, the CEO of Dish wants to accumulate a large portfolio of holdings so that he will be able to turn around and sell that spectrum for a large profit in the future.
Analysts are mixed over the viability of Ergen’s long-term plan. In the meantime, Dish is working hard to reward existing customers and entice new subscribers with their own Dish promotions. Their current offering of promotion codes can be found here. In addition to regular satellite television discounts, Dish is also offering deals for its streaming service, Sling TV. Promotion codes for Sling can be found here. Specifically designed to appeal to a younger demographic and cord-cutters, Sling offers smaller bundles of television networks, like ESPN and The Disney Channel, for only $20 per month.
As industry insiders griped about Dish’s overall decline in subscribers, a spokesman for the company announced that it had gained over 600,000 Sling subscribers since the service launched last March. According to telecom analysts, these subscribers are almost exclusively new customers and not existing subscribers changing to cheaper plans. Among the same analysts there has been rampant speculation that Dish will announce special discounts to entice new subscribers to Sling TV as college basketball’s March Madness approaches. Whether or not these savings materialize, it is clear from the flurry of activity that Dish is working hard to weather the current storm hitting pay-TV providers.