Sometimes I wonder - A Scott Comentary

Scott Greczkowski

Scott Greczkowski

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Just when you think Dish Network learned in the errors of its ways, the mighty ship Echostar once again shows that their is no Captain steering the ship.

Let's face it Dish Network knew by all the delays on their new products that we were not happy so at the release of the 811, Dish Network offered us a token gift, a new 811 receiver for $199 (or less)

Many considered this token gift a sign of goodwill from Dish Network, and now that token may have just been a way to keep you a customer for another year while Dish Network figures out what it wants and needs to do to satisfy the needs of its HD customers.

When Charlie Ergen looked into the camera and said that they are carrying all the HD programming available to them a red flag immediately went up in my head and immediately the 100 people in our chat started complaigning about Charlies comments.

What about Starz HD? What about Cinemax HD? What about Bravo HD? What about The Movie Channel HD? And what about INHD 1 & 2?

No HD programming available my ass Mr Ergen.

After all that has happened at Dish Network the last few months I must ask myself whats going on? Does management pay attention? Do they even care? To me it appears the answer to both questions are NO.

So what is happening at Dish Network that could take their attention off of running a world class satellite service?

Is Dish Network secretly for sale? Will a big company like Disney gobble up Echostar? Is the reason no one seems to care because they know soon they won't be there?

If I were a shareholder, I would be very concerned.

On the Chat, Charlie showed that he is still a mean poker player, of course last night most Dish Network customers noticed Charlie does have a good pokerface, as they realized that with Dish Networks HD commitments Charlie has been bluffing all along.

So while he may play a mean game of poker perhaps Charlie should consider joining the World Poker Tour, because without some proper steering of his ship I can't see him holding his job as CEO much longer. As the Captain of the Starship Echostar, I feel he about to run aground. In my opinion its time for Charlie to step down.

That's my Chat Commentary for this month.

Please remember my opinion is that of myself and I in no way speak for other people. I would love to hear your opinions as well.
 
Sparkman

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Scott,

My letter is sent & out there. On DBS Talk, I had one response that I felt I needed to rebutt. Here is that response & my rebuttal. I think these comments maki it clear how i feel.

Mark,

With all due respect, you need to get a reality check. First off, less than 1 in 10 households even has one HD capable TV, even better only 1 in 50 households have any HD content on their HD capable TV. While I'd to have available everything in HD, all things considered Dish offers a well rounded selection. Want ESPN-HD, good luck getting it from Time Warner Cable. Want your local CBS station in HD, try getting it on Comcast. Starz-HD, Cinemax-HD, TMC-HD and Bravo-HD, consider yourself lucky if you receive one of these no matter who is your provider. Until HD starts to reach a true critical mass, that the way it's going to be.

Thanks for your opinion. Let me rebutt.

First of all Charlie is the one who has come out & vowed to be the HD leader, with 40 channels of HD available. Dish has spent lots & lots of money developing HD receivers and the only way for them to recoup this investment is by selling the HD package.
D* become larger than E* mainly because of 2 reasons. NFL Sunday Ticket and exclusivity in Big Box stores so that the majority of the American public thought satellite tv was D*. Great marketing strategy by D* and E* has been playing catch up ever since. HD is Charlie's chance to get the jump on D*, but he doesn't have alot of time. D* will have their HD Tivo unit out within 6-10 months. That is his time period to get the jump on them. But he has another huge problem. Digital Cable is now here and has some huge advantages. Locals in HD, no equipment etc. TW has piloted HD DVR's in Green Bay. Comcast is putting on local HD feeds now.They push is on. So, while the numbers of HD are low, in 3 years, they will be huge. This will grow faster the DVD's overtook VHS in the mass market. If E* waits for HD to be a part of the critical mass, they're never recover.

That being said, All E* needs to do is back up what they've already put out there. That they will be the LEADER in HD! And the way to start this is by putting the HD feeds of their channels on the air. That's the "reality".
 
StevenD

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I'm considering becoming a shareholder and speaking my mind at the annual meeting.
 
sampatterson

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Well said Scott. I am sure he probably does have bigger issues than carrying HD right now. HD has to account for a miniscule part of their subscriber base. He gave them something a couple of months ago (HDNet, et al), so they are concentrating more on the locals for the wing sats (or so it looks). The biggest problem with E* is Charlie and team seem to "open mouth, insert foot" too often for a public company. I think Charlie should stay as CEO, they need to fire their entire CorpComm department and get someone in there who can control their spokespeople (and send Charlie, et al through media and analyst training again).

Sam
 
H

HookedOnTV

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E*'s big problem is making statements that fall flat on their face. Let's face it, if they never made the claim that they would be the leader in HD none of us would be complaining about the paltry offering.

We all know that the number of HD channels could double with what's available today.

As far as the percentage of HD customers it is the old which came first the chicken or the egg. Your average consumer isn't going to invest on the HD equipment when there is so little programming available. The providers don't want to invest in the programming when there are so few customers. Somebody has to go first... if you build it they will come.

And one last rant... Charlie keeps saying the 921 is the first/only HD recorder. Zenith has an OTA recorder that has been out for a couple months. Some of the cable companies have started some small rollouts. Where does he come up with this stuff?
 
rad

rad

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HookedOnTV said:
And one last rant... Charlie keeps saying the 921 is the first/only HD recorder. Zenith has an OTA recorder that has been out for a couple months. Some of the cable companies have started some small rollouts. Where does he come up with this stuff?

Can't you also say that TIVO has a HD recorder using the same criteria that Charlie's been using (there's one in the lab but nobody can buy it)?
 
Cyclone

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Well I for one think that the 811 deal is a good faith effort by E* and moving HD from that SuperDish monstrosity (I really didn't want that up on my roof) down to the Dish500 is also a big plus.
 
rad

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Cyclone said:
Well I for one think that the 811 deal is a good faith effort by E* and moving HD from that SuperDish monstrosity (I really didn't want that up on my roof) down to the Dish500 is also a big plus.

Only if the 811 didn't suck as bad as it does and we didn't get locked out of any new HD programming due to capacity issues on 110.
 
Sparkman

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HookedOnTV said:
E*'s big problem is making statements that fall flat on their face. Let's face it, if they never made the claim that they would be the leader in HD none of us would be complaining about the paltry offering.

I totally agree with this. To make that staement, then tell subscribers that there is no worthwhile programming available in HD is just nuts. You just introduced a new HD receiver, why in hell would you then tell people there is no new programming worth adding for this receiver. The only way to make up the R&D cost on the HD receivers to to sell the HD package.
 
C

Chris Freeland

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I agree that what Charlie said about no more good HD channels out their is not true. Charlie should have bin more forthright and told you HD guys what the real reason is for not adding more HD at this time, Not Enough Bandwidth on 110 and 61.5 to do those additional channels at this time. In order to add more HD channels, E* will need to add them to 61.5 and 148. Since E* is moving HBO-HD, Showtime-HD, PPV-HD and Events-HD to 110, I doubt their is any room left on 110 for more HD, 148/157 has plenty of space even with locals and International with 35 TP's, however E* only owns 11 TP's and leases 6 more for a total of 17 on 61.5, and since the SuperDish is no longer an option for HD, more room needs to be found on 61.5. Once the HD channels currently on 61.5 that are moving to 110 are turned off that will open enough space for 4 more, but E* will likely mirror these for a few months to give the few HD subs with outdated hardware one last chance to upgrade. E* may be able to move some locals currently on 61.5 to a 110 or 119 spotbeam but this will take time but could open up space for another HD channel or 2, and once the new E10 spotbeam satellite is up in 2005 the remaining wing locals can move to spotbeams opening enough space to do much more HD, possibly the 50 HD channels originally promised for the SD105, however this is going to take time. In the mean time E* and D* already have more National HD channels then most cable systems out their and V* is mostly smoke and mirrors prentending to be a great satellite HD service with their filler HD channels. Also do not forget us SD subs out their, we are still the majority and we deserve to have decent pq and and we should not be asked to give up channels just because you HD minority think that E* should have every HD channel available and to Hell with the SD majority.
 
N

Nick

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rad said:
Only if the 811 didn't suck as bad as it does and we didn't get locked out of any new HD programming due to capacity issues on 110.
My 811 does not suck. - it does exactly what I bought for - it gives me pretty pictures, and it does that very well.

It is Rad's unfair blanket criticism of the 811 that sucks. Rad, if you have a problem with your 811, send it back. If you have a problem with Dish, go somewhere else. But don't come out with your unsubstantiated wide-brush hyper-critical crap.

My new 811 HD receiver works fine. I would recommend the 811 to anyone who wants a reasonable-cost entre' into HD, or a 2nd HD unit. Don't be hesitant because of Rad's unfair and inaccurate comments.
 
rad

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Chris Freeland said:
Since E* is moving HBO-HD, Showtime-HD, PPV-HD and Events-HD to 110, I doubt their is any room left on 110 for more HD, 148/157 has plenty of space even with locals and International with 35 TP's, however E* only owns 11 TP's and leases 6 more for a total of 17 on 61.5, and since the SuperDish is no longer an option for HD, more room needs to be found on 61.5. Once the HD channels currently on 61.5 that are moving to 110 are turned off that will open enough space for 4 more, but E* will likely mirror these for a few months to give the few HD subs with outdated hardware one last chance to upgrade.

Chris, I really don't see E* adding any new HD channels on 61.5 or 148. Why would they go to the trouble of getting folks to make sure they can get HD on 110 the putting HD content back up on the wings? I would think it would make sense, if they were going to do that, to leave what's on the wings there and add the new programming to 110. That way the folks that have HD now don't need to do anything (since as ones that have a Dish 300 pointing to the wings only) and if you want new HD then you need to make sure you can see 110.
 
mike123abc

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What I think E* should do is put 2 new channels on 110, and then convert HBO/SHO to 8PSK and free up a transponder on the wings for Starz/MAX. They could even get another transponder by 8PSK Demo/CBS. They could do it if they wanted to, but now they want LIL before D-7s.
 
Bobby

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mike123abc said:
What I think E* should do is put 2 new channels on 110, and then convert HBO/SHO to 8PSK and free up a transponder on the wings for Starz/MAX. They could even get another transponder by 8PSK Demo/CBS. They could do it if they wanted to, but now they want LIL before D-7s.

Most of us are already getting HBO-SHO Hd from the wings. It would make sense to leave them there and add STARZ-Max as 8PSK on 110.

The bottom line is that they want to use the transponders for LIL, where the money is.
 
M

markdl

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Rad sounded a heckuva like Mr. Haller with his 811 sucks post...come to think of it, Scott kind of sounded like Bob as well with his initial post...hmmm... :D

Seriously, the 811's got new software coming soon to fix some of it's deficiencies, and even the way it is now it's a really good deal at $199 or $149. By far the cheapest HD receiver that's ever been offered. The Fusion I HD card was the only one that was close - but at $199 it provided only software decoding on your computer. So, you still had to have a powerful computer to run it.
 
C

chelsea

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This a well said thread, credit to Scott, not be afaid to tell it like is,
even though he's on their new product lists.

Chris mentioned the 2005 spotbeam for both wings I assume.
Sure 157 & 148 are sitting doing nothing, put it there just to spite
D*, not much time left.

Scott's right, how could somebody be so stupid with a chance at
free money, untill D* puts up their spotbeam.
Its all BS. Are they talking to raise the stock price & sell?
 
W

wwilson

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HD momentum

IT is true that currently HD is a small niche market. However, if you look at the trends, it is also the fastest growing set market out there.

1) Production capability for HD is growing rapidly, see this URL:
http://www.hdtvbuyer.com/2003/12_dec/news/cw_discreet_q3hd.htm

2) Set sales are up 50% this year for a total of 9 million sets:
http://www.hometheatermag.com/news/120303hdtv/

In this last point, the telling news is this:

"But due to confusion among consumers as to what is or is not HD, only about 3.2 million will have the decoders needed to view truly high-definition programming."

That means that there is an existing market for delivery of HD content that is 6 million large and growing at a rapid rate!

With the explosion in HD content, falling chip prices, the market is set to become mainstream by 2005 or 2006. This means we are already on the exponential growth part of the curve.

In the meantime, there is a substantial base upon which to build a service.

I think that means you can't wait it out and see what happens. You need to agressively acquire content and push distribution into the existing and ever expanding customer base. You need a new marketing strategy to match.

The best place to do this is at the point of sale of the HDTV set. The early market would tolerate the high tech afficiando, and there will remain a serious market there for high end stuff, but it is rapidly mimicing the the high end audio market as well. The mid-tier specialist is just plain out of business.

There is a general marketing theory for high tech, known as the chasm theory. The point of crossing the chasm and moving from early adopters to the rapidly growing mainstream changes the marketing approach. This is why it's called a chasm, things are much different on the other side.

I think the chasm for HDTV is here now, and those who can cross it will be the winners. That means you cannot take no action and move into a holding pattern, you remain a niche player then.
 
rad

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markdl said:
Seriously, the 811's got new software coming soon to fix some of it's deficiencies, and even the way it is now it's a really good deal at $199 or $149. By far the cheapest HD receiver that's ever been offered.

And the Yugo was the cheapest car offered at the time and we know what a pile of garbage it was. As for new software coming 'soon' let's have the 721 folks tell us how long they were waiting for software that was coming soon.

At least I'm doing something that Bob hasn't done, I'm ordering Comcast (yea I know Comcrap) and dumping Dish. I've been fooled and lied to by Charlie and company once too often.
 
Sparkman

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wwilson said it perfectly. The time to jump on is now. McDonalds was the 1st big burger chain & no one will ever catch them. Dish is now #2. They have to narrow the gap & HD is their opportunity. But Charlies going to let it pass him by. :rolleyes:
 
Sparkman

Sparkman

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rad said:
markdl said:
Seriously, the 811's got new software coming soon to fix some of it's deficiencies, and even the way it is now it's a really good deal at $199 or $149. By far the cheapest HD receiver that's ever been offered.

And the Yugo was the cheapest car offered at the time and we know what a pile of garbage it was. As for new software coming 'soon' let's have the 721 folks tell us how long they were waiting for software that was coming soon.

At least I'm doing something that Bob hasn't done, I'm ordering Comcast (yea I know Comcrap) and dumping Dish. I've been fooled and lied to by Charlie and company once too often.

Rad,

I understand your frustrations, but don't you think your giving up more programming than its worth to switch?
Comcast here has just the 4 networks, HBO & SHO in HD here. Giving up ESPN, HDnets, DiscoveryHD & NBA on 9425. While I agree the 811 has some bugs, I'd give Dish a little time to fix them before jumping ship. Maybe even look at D* before Comcast. Just an idea. Hope you've thought all this thru.
 

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