SatelliteGuys Rumor Central

Scott Greczkowski

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Original poster
Staff member
Cutting Edge
Sep 7, 2003
Newington, CT


Something is happening at Dish Network. Dealers are unable to obtain equipment, Dish Network Warehouses are empty, new products such as the 811 and 921 are in short supply and very buggy. Dish Network is selling equipment direct to customers for less then it is costing Dish to produce the units. All this and no one seems to care.

Is it that they don't care or is it that they are busy doing something else?

In my opinion something major is going down behind the scenes. Last month Echostar Executive Vice President Soraya Cartwright resigned, and now I am receiving word from a few contacts that Echostar President and Cheif Operating Officer Mike Duggan is about to jump ship.

It is my opinion that Echostar is ripe for a buyout or takeover, and from the buzz I am hearing I am expecting a major announcement at the end of February.

If you haven't noticed Dish is REALLY trying to bump up their subscriber numbers. Their new DHA plan shows how desperate they are just to get someone to sign up, with no contract, its a mad dash for higher subscriber numbers.

Now if your a retailer (and PLEASE chime in if you have something to offer) you can't even buy Dish Network equipment (And we are not just talking about 921's and 811's) almost everything is out of stock. It is my opinion that Dish is intentionally keeping low inventory in their warehouses to make their books look better.

The problem I see with this is if retailers cant get equipment then it makes it hard to install new customers.

It really strikes me odd that Dish did not announce anything really new at CES which is usally their place to shine. Why all the silence?

The mood of Dish Network employees I speak to is that of doom and gloom, I have been told by more then one they are being forced to work mandetory overtime, I am told the morale is not high.

Again I say Dish is about ready for a buy out or takeover.

One thing that confuses me however that if Dish is being purchased is 3 seperate reports I have received that Dish Network CEO Charlie Ergen has been spotted a few times over the past few weeks in Long Island, which is the home of Cablevision and HDTV Satellite Service VOOM.

Speaking of VOOM this service has me stumped. If you go to a Sears and check out the VOOM Display it says on the Displays 39 HD Channels by February 1st. February 1st is rolling around real quick and they don't have 39 HD Channels yet. What also has me stumped is that the service was $799 to get installed, and now there is a special offer floating around offering VOOM for $399, this offer has existing customers who paid $799 mad. Judging what I have been reading in our VOOM forum a lot of customers may be taking advantage of VOOM's Money back guarentee soon.

DirecTV is also in a state of Flux, I am told by my DirecTV contacts that there are MAJOR meetings in El Segundo, Ca this week. I would expect Rupert Murdoch to pull some punches and may announce some things besides a rate increase that may surprise a lot of people. Ultimately it look like things will be rolling full steam ahead for DirectTV soon. As I predicted last year it appears that DirecTV will swap out many customers recievers for new units, I still predict that ALL of these units will be DVR units.

There you have it that's my rumor mill for now. If I hear anymore I will be sure to post it.

Let's hear your thoughts and feelings on things.
Something BETTER be happening!

Scott, something better be happening at Dish that would explain what the h*ll is happening over there. I think we both agree that Dish appears to have no direction or planning anymore. Look over what's happened, or hasn't, the past 6 months. The one that strikes me as the biggest management flop is SuperDish and we're going to have 50 HD channels. Now Dish is down to no SuperDish for HD and no new HD channels.

I'm also confused on the hardware issue, especially about the 921. Prior posts have said that before roll out the warehouse was just loaded with them and Dish was just wrapping up the software. Now it's people still wanting 921's and none are to be found anywhere.

Either way, something's going on and from the outside looking in, it doesn't look good. I've jumped from Dish because of what's been happening lately, and I don't remember seeing as many posts as there has been lately about others that are making the swap. Charlie either better get his head screwed back on the right way or sell really quick before Dish is beyond repair.
Dish Network CEO Charlie Ergen has been supported a few times over the past few weeks in Long Island, which is the home of Cablevision and HDTV Satellite Service VOOM.


Did you mean that he has been spotted there? The above didn't make any sense to me.
I think the price if Dish's stock is way too high right now to justify a takeover. If it were back in the 20s maybe, but not a $35/share with a $17 billion market cap.
Scot.... I've been dealing with Echostar for over 13 years.

Probably most of your observations have good foundation, but you might be taking the conclusions too far.

Yea, the current inventory is tight, but we stay far enough ahead in our orders to where we have not seen too many problems. 921's are an exception, but not unexpected being such a new & different product. In 3 decades of consumer electronics experience - its just not unusual for such a new and dramatically different first generation procuts. And with 811's we've generally been able to keep up with our local sales volume by ordering far in advance.

As for turn over at Echostar... in my opinion it has always been remarkably high. I believe that the workload for management employees in particular is far beyond what I personnally would tolerate. I suspect that they burn-out. (I would)

I spent nearly 10 years in corp management for a couple of fortune 10 companies... Cost control tightening does come in never ending waves of contractions. Charlie is brutal in the cost control department. I think that he goes too far for his own good.... but, that appears to be his style. A style that I have not seen changed in 13 years.

"Buy-out".... perhaps... While it seems like Echostar is at the correct point in the product life cycle, I just can not imagine Charlie with anything but majority control.
I guess some kind of deal/merge/takeover thing with VOOM fits with the superdish and HD mess. Dish seemed to have suddenly changed its HD plans.

The HD market might be viewed as the big growth opportunity for DBS and cable. It doesn't look too bright for Dish, so they have to do something.
So is Charlie trying to sell to Voom or is he buying Voom out? That last one is more likely to me. This would surely explain why Charlie is trying to get a two dish install for the future of hd. I hope this is what Charlie is trying to do is partner with Cablevison and Voom to counter Rupert and the new Directv.
I really hope not. Enough people have trouble getting line of sight to a single dish. I will always be of the opinion that more than one dish is one or more too many.

K.I.S.S. is the motto here - I shouldn't need to have a bazillion dishes to get HD.
Up until a few months ago the only way to get HD from Dish was with a second Dish.

Infact most Dish HD subscribers now have a Dish pointed already at 61.5 (which also where VOOM is) so a second dish for them would be no problem.
MikeD-C05 said:
So is Charlie trying to sell to Voom or is he buying Voom out? That last one is more likely to me. This would surely explain why Charlie is trying to get a two dish install for the future of hd. I hope this is what Charlie is trying to do is partner with Cablevison and Voom to counter Rupert and the new Directv.

I would say, dish should/could offer voom programming for dish customers. You'll need the 61.5, but a lot of dish customers have it already. Whether it's a buyout or just an agreement, the outcome is the same.

With this,

- Dish will stay the "HD leader."
- VOOM will have a broader customer base, sells more.
- VOOM will get out of HW business.
- VOOM will get better receiver verity + PVRs.
my question is would new equipment need to be installed to view the voom hd channels. D* and E* lnbs are not interchangable. So would E* just take the Voom channels and broadcast off 61.5 sat. Where will he move the locals that are on that sat. I think it would be great, but also I think it may cause a few problems along the way.
There are not many VOOM subscribers, so if something were to happen the switchover from Vooms motorola boxes to a Dish Network receiver would not be too much of a problem.
Early last month, I made a joke about VOOM buying out Charlie's majoriety shares in E* making VOOM the new controller of E*(still a public company). It was amusing to see Scott's editorial suggesting this considering all the recent factors.

Excuse my ignorance as I don't follow all the financial details like some of you do but isn't Cablevision big enough to afford Charlie Ergan? Likewise, Charlie could buy off VOOM but a more likely scenario is to form some sort of arrangement where Dish subscribers could pick up the VOOM package of HD channels for a slick price. I make the assumption that the signals are totally compatible. I don't see the same thing happening the other way around because of the tiny number of VOOM's subscribers as well as any unique offerings from E* would require the added dishes which I doubt the Motorolla's are ready to deal with.
The whole conflict in all this is Charlie's passion for hating cable. How can he do that and then try to negotiate with Cable as a partner? Somethings just go beyond sound business logic and rest in emotion.

Personally, I would like the idea of a VOOM HD package being made available to E* subscribers. It would inject a quick shot of cash into VOOM's veins and solve CE's need to supply more HD programming to the rapidly growing HD subscriber base.

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