Hopper Plus new hardware??

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NashGuy

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Mar 24, 2009
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Satellites are not very expensive.

The new ones run maybe 300 million, after launch and last 20 years.

So if you have say 5 million customers , the annual cost per customer is $3 per satellite. At most, dish needs 4 satellites, maybe three if they can get their hands on the DirecTV transponders not in use.

Combining with direct would get rid of duplicate back office, marketing but customer service would probably stay the same.

The thing hitting satellite is program fees.
The big improvement in combining with direct would be negotiating program fees when they could walk away and not have the other sat company get the business (locals are the best example).

The streamers can cut down to Netflix , prime, or whatever and cut costs. This is the problem area --- programming costs.
As broadband reaches near-universal availability over the course of this decade, satellite TV will have no reason left to exist. DirecTV is already transitioning their customer base over from sat to streaming and Dish will do the same (either before or after they merge with DirecTV).

But the broader issue they face is the same one facing the overall cable TV industry, which is that more and more content is gradually shifting from linear broadcast and cable channels to direct-to-consumer streaming apps, which offer everything on-demand and also feature select live content -- mainly sports and news. There will continue to be more consolidation among media owners and just about everything on the current TV dial will end up inside Disney+, ESPN+, Paramount+, Peacock, HBO Max or Tubi (with Netflix, Amazon and Apple also offering their own mix of original content, licensed reruns, and select live sports).

So between those two trends, cable TV delivered via satellite will continue to precipitously decline this decade. Many of the costs involved in running Dish/DTV are scalable (i.e. higher or lower, depending on the number of subscribers); scalable costs include programming costs, equipment costs, installation costs, customer support and billing costs. But buying and launching new satellites, that's a fixed cost which must be spread out among however many subscribers you have. As the total pool of satellite subscribers continues to dwindle down, those fixed costs can't be spread over as many customers, meaning that each customer must pay a bigger share. Neither Dish nor DTV is going to spend the money it costs for any additional DBS sats in the latter half of this decade; there just won't be enough sat customers left to justify it.
 
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NashGuy

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Mar 24, 2009
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I wouldn’t bet on that.
I suspect that Dish is bluffing, making noises that they're considering launching additional DBS sats, in order to strengthen their negotiating position with AT&T for their eventual inevitable merger with DTV. AT&T, of course, knows the expected lifespan of Dish's current sat fleet, so they know that Dish ultimately needs them as much as they need Dish.
 
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navychop

navychop

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IIRC, a DBS satellite goes for about $250M. Launch on a Falcon 9 likely below $100M, even if a 9 heavy. Up front costs.

Continuing costs will be installation, along the lines of cablecos. Costs to uplink and downlink probably not much different than streaming facilities. Streaming bandwidth costs go up for each new customer.

Might not be too much difference between the costs between those models.
 
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NashGuy

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Mar 24, 2009
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IIRC, a DBS satellite goes for about $250M. Launch on a Falcon 9 likely below $100M, even if a 9 heavy. Up front costs.

Continuing costs will be installation, along the lines of cablecos. Costs to uplink and downlink probably not much different than streaming facilities. Streaming bandwidth costs go up for each new customer.

Might not be too much difference between the costs between those models.
Again, you have to divide the fixed costs of any additional DBS sats (build, launch, uplink/downlink) among the dwindling number of satellite customers over the remaining number of years that the service will even be offered. My guess is that the whole thing shuts down around 2030 as demand for the product will have dropped so low that it will no longer be minimally profitable (cf. Orby).

Meanwhile, when thinking about bandwidth costs for streaming, remember that AT&T is a major IP network operator (fiber and 5G) and Dish is increasingly moving into that business as well with their own 5G network.
 
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