Commissioner questions Dish bending rules to gain small business bid discount
Dish Network's bidding in the recent $44.9 billion AWS-3 spectrum auction has come under scrutiny by a commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), for potentially bending the rules of the auction While Dish acquired a large collection of licenses for $13.3 billion, it has come under fire for picking up the licenses at a discount, something the other major carriers were unable to do.
Dish Network spends $13.3B on spectrum licenses, Verizon $10.4B
The latest spectrum auction conducted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has raised $44.9 billion. Of the bidders looking to acquire what has been termed AWS-3 spectrum, the FCC revealed AT&T spent more than any other carrier or organization, using $18.2 billion to acquire almost half the total number of licenses up for grabs in the auction.
Fox unable to use Aereo ruling to shut down Dish Network features
Back in 2012, Fox brought a lawsuit against Dish Network over DVR technology that allows users to view content on a device other than a television connected to a set-top box. Fox's position has been that it did not consent to allow the "rebroadcasting" of its content to mobile devices. On Wednesday, US District Court Judge Dolly Gee ruled that time- and place-shifting of paid-for content does not infringe the copyrights of broadcasters.
Discussions over licensing fees stall, Fox News, Fox Business dropped from Dish
A stand-off between Dish Network and 21st Century Fox has led to two channels being dropped from Dish customers' program guides. Fox News and Fox Business are no longer being offered for viewing by the satellite TV broadcaster, with the two companies apparently failing to agree on the terms of a new distribution contract.
Resulting company could have means to leverage control over the broadband pipe
In a memo from Dish Network's Senior Vice President and Deputy General Council Jeffrey Blum to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a series of meetings on July 7 indicate that the company has raised issues with the prospective merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable. Believing that the combined business could utilize "choke points," it could leverage control over broadband to do harm.
Lawyers use ruling to show 'unauthorized transmissions' through Hopper DVR
After the United States Supreme Court ruled against Aereo, effectively ending the company, Fox Broadcasting has been quick to use the ruling in another case, as uncovered by The Guardian. The media company has been waging a war against Dish Network and its Hopper DVR with Dish Anywhere streaming. The case is set for a hearing in the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on July 7 in California.
Deal with Coinbase allows bitcoin transactions from customers
Satellite provider Dish is teaming up with Coinbase to allow its customers to pay bills with Bitcoins. The deal makes Dish the largest company to date to accept the Internet currency for service transactions. Dish's deal follows other such agreements with Coinbase including online retailers Overstock.com and Tiger Direct.
Dish Network customers can access Hopper DVR through Playstation 3 app
Dish Network has teamed up with Sony to release a Virtual Joey Playstation 3 app that allows control of Hopper DVRs through the gaming console. Through the app, the Playstation 3 speaks with the Hopper DVR over an Ethernet connection. The application eliminates the need for another set-top box, but can be controlled with the Dualshock 3 controller or a Dish remote.
Channel-skipping feature disabled for 72 hours after initial broadcast
The Walt Disney Company and Dish Network Corporation today announced a long-term distribution agreement that will provide Dish customers with access to Disney-owned programming. The distribution agreement grants Dish rights to content from the ABC-owned broadcast stations, ABC Family, Disney Channel, ESPN and ESPN2, as part of an Internet delivered, IP-based multichannel offering -- but with a catch for the consumer. Under the terms of the deal, users must wait three days before being able to skip commercials on new programming saved by the Hopper DVR.
LightSquared acquisition failure follows similar Clearwire, Sprint attempts
Dish Network will soon be ending a bid to acquire LightSquared, according to a report. The proposal, originally placed in May last year and said to be worth $2.2 billion, would have seen the satellite TV provider take control of LightSquared's L-band satellite spectrum and potentially use it for an LTE cellular network, though this is apparently no longer going to happen.
Report claims discussions occurring between Dish, Deutsche Telekom
Dish Network is still considering an attempt to acquire T-Mobile sometime next year, according to a report. Despite its failure to secure Sprint in the last year, the satellite TV service is still looking towards owning a carrier and offering cellular service, with the potential acquisition attempt seemingly setting up Dish for another battle with Softbank.
Home broadband service will use 2.5GHz Sprint LTE spectrum
Dish is working with Sprint to develop a fixed wireless home broadband service for areas underserved by normal wire-based broadband, the company has announced. Using Sprint's 4G LTE network, the service will use the 2.5GHz bands Sprint acquired from Clearwire, with Dish installing either an indoor or ruggedized outdoor router with high-gain antennas at the customer's location.
Dish's Ergen says he won't rule out a T-Mobile buy
Dish Network chairman Charlie Ergen has said that his company is still open to the possibility of buying T-Mobile, the United States' fourth-largest wireless carrier. Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that the Dish chairman was still interested in inserting the satellite television provider into the American wireless market. Despite the company's failed bid to buy Sprint earlier this year, Ergen says it is intent on getting into the carrier business.
Time and place shifting DVR said to infringe broadcast copyrights
Dish Networks -- more specifically, the Hopper DVR -- has emerged victorious in the latest chapter of its legal battle against the broadcast networks. Judge Laura Swain of the Southern District of New York has refused ABC's bid to kill the DVR and hobble its ad-skip feature. Today's victory is Dish's third victory regarding the Hopper DVR and related technology.
Dish, Sprint tipped as possibly acquiring T-Mobile
John Paulson's firm is the largest outside investor in T-Mobile, and the hedge fund manager said recently that the carrier could be ripe for a takeover by either of two other wireless industry players. Bloomberg reported earlier this week that Paulson sees both Sprint and Dish Network as potential suitors for the fourth-largest wireless carrier in the United States. Paulson's musings on the matter went out in the form of a letter to Paulson & Co. clients this week.
Live TV promoted by iPad giveaway to passengers on flight
Satellite TV provider Dish Network will be providing free live TV to passengers on Southwest Airlines flights. The service, titled TV Flies Free, will be available on more than 400 Southwest planes with Wi-Fi onboard, and will offer up to 75 on-demand shows at no charge, as well as access to 13 live-streaming channels.
Withdrawl leaves Sprint open to acquisition by SoftBank
Dish Network has halted its battle with Japanese carrier Softbank for Sprint, after failing to provide a final offer for a merger. The withdrawal now allows SoftBank to continue in its attempt to acquire Sprint, with a completion of the purchase likely to finish, thanks to Softbank upping its original $20 billion offer to $21.6 billion.
Dish Network adds social network interactions to Hopper DVR using app
Dish Network has created a new app for its Hopper Whole-Home DVR for social networking while watching television. Social, usable from the Hopper's quick-launch bar, will allow viewers to log into and manage multiple Twitter and Facebook accounts, as well as showing a Twitter feed for the show or channel being watched at that time. A data bar at the bottom of the screen will provide more stats and information about the program, including what areas of the US are commenting about the show on Twitter, and the program's "sentiment rating."
Shareholders to vote on June 12th, deal could close July 1st
The Securities and Exchange Commission has approved the proposal from SoftBank to buy out Sprint. While shareholders in the US carrier are expected to discuss and vote on the deal at a meeting next month, the chairman of Dish Network has made comments against the proposal, citing the need for Sprint's network to be upgraded by US teams.
Masayoshi Son places $20.1B SoftBank offer above $25.5B rival bid
The CEO of SoftBank believes there is no need to change the Japanese carrier's offer to Sprint, following a secondary offer from Dish Network. Masayoshi Son, also the founder of the company, told the audience of an earnings briefing "There is absolutely no need for that since we believe our offer is above theirs."
Proposal would spoil existing SoftBank, Sprint deal
Dish Network has announced it wishes to merge with Sprint, at a cost of $25.5 billion. The proposal from the satellite service provider could potentially derail the current attempt by Japanese carrier SoftBank to purchase Sprint, a deal worth around $20 billion that has been in progress since October last year.
Broadcaster believes product violates licensing, copyright
After being blocked in its first attempt to legally enjoin Dish Network's Hopper DVR pre-trial, Fox Broadcasting has asked a federal judge to stop customers from "place shifting" video content to smartphones and computers with the new Hopper with Sling. The suit, filed in Los Angeles, demands Dish disable the "rebroadcasting" of all content from the set top box before a trial which has yet to be scheduled.
Reviews ban put in place over existing Dish litigation
Executives at CBS have forced CNet to remove Dish Network's Hopper from its CES awards, due to ongoing lawsuits. CNet's parent company apparently wanted the awards changed shortly after a ban on products by companies CBS was in litigation with came into effect, and forced the change on the editorial team, leading one reporter to announce their departure.
New features allow for internet streaming, in-home iPad transfer
The second generation of Dish Network's whole-home DVR system was announced today at the Consumer Electronics Show -- the Hopper with Sling. The new unit allows customers to watch live and recorded television anywhere on Internet-connected tablets with the newly-integrated Sling technology, and move recorded television to an iPad for viewing without an Internet connection using the free Hopper Transfers app.
Limits mostly time related, no financial disincentives
Following the unanimous approval of Dish Network's waiver to build out a LTE network in a congested area of bandwidth, details have become available detailing the restrictions the buildout will be under. According to the FCC, Dish must complete 40 percent of the proposed network within four years, and 70 percent within seven. If the 70 percent requirement isn't met, then Dish will be prohibited from offering service in the missed area.
Finding naughty bits now takes a bit more effort on Google
The world's largest search engine has made changes to its image search algorithm, changes that make it a bit more difficult to find explicit content in the course of a simple search. Google rolled out the changes for its main US site today, and the changes apparently have yet to filter down to its international sites. The changes, apparently, were first discovered by social news site Reddit, and they make it so that users will have to be a bit more explicit in their searches in order to turn up pornographic and not-safe-for-work content.
Deal would let Dish offer service over Sprint's network
Sprint, the United States' third-largest wireless carrier, has approached Dish Network about a partnership that would see Dish offering mobile service over Sprint's network. Sources familiar with Sprint's offer say that the deal would give Sprint access to Dish's mobile airwaves, with the two companies sharing revenue from customers signing up for wireless service from Dish. The satellite TV provider has been moving toward wireless service provision for some time, though regulatory obstacles have hindered its progress.
Dish 4G LTE spectrum expected to be utilized for network
Blockbuster is planning to diversity its business into mobile phone sales as a test for owner Dish Network's planned entry into the wireless business, according to sources familiar with the matter. The effort will begin in Blockbuster's 850 surviving retail locations shortly, with the once-giant movie-rental business selling phones from Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel, and T-Mobile.
Dish unsatisfied with FCC's proposal, though
Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski proposed that the agency greenlight Dish Network's ongoing effort to move into providing wireless communications services. Genachowski expressed his support on the grounds that DIsh's entry into the wireless sector would stoke competition in a segment that, in the United States, is verging on duopoly. Dish Network executives, though, are unsatisfied with the FCC's current proposal for allowing them into the wireless arena, saying the FCC's plan would make it "extremely risky" for them to enter the sector.
Dish in talks with number of non-industry parties
Google is rumored to be in talks with Dish Network over creating a new wireless carrier, competing against Verizon and AT&T. Though it is not clear if a Google-supported mobile phone network will come to fruition, the software giant's move to wireless mirrors early discussions it had over its gigabit fiber project in Kansas City, and could potentially end up disrupting the mobile carrier industry.
Spectrum deal covers 45 markets, 150M population
Dish Network has settled its lawsuit with Voom HD, allowing AMC back on Dish as of last night. The channels were initially dropped due to claimed high costs for AMC channels despite a relatively low viewership, though it appears more connected to a separate wireless spectrum-related lawsuit that has now ceased.
Broadband to be bundled with TV service
Dish Network is reportedly preparing to rollout satellite broadband service to complement its existing television services. The company already offers satellite broadband in a limited number of markets, as part of a collaborative partnership with California-based communications company ViaSat, however the upcoming service is said to utilize EchoStar satellites and coverage across the entire contiguous US.
Counter-suit by Dish filed to preemptively declare skipping legal
Fox, NBCUniversal, and CBS have all filed suit independently against Dish Network over the new AutoHop service, which with the right set-top box allows viewers to automatically skip commercials, assuming the recorded content isn't watched on the day of broadcast. The broadcast networks call the DVR technology a violation of their copyrights, a danger to quality programming, and an assault on their financial ecosystem. In an effort to counter the separate legal attacks, Dish has filed a countersuit against the three, plus ABC, in an attempt to establish the legality of advertisement skipping.
Satellite company asks FCC for extension
Dish Network has warned the Federal Communications Commission that it may not be able to meet initial deployment goals for its LTE-Advanced network until 2016 or later. In a filing with the FCC (PDF), the satellite company is asking regulators to modify their official guidelines to accomodate a lengthier buildout schedule.
Gives subscribers access to 900,000 tracks
Earlier today, Dish Network introduced streaming music service Pandora as an enhancement to the Hopper Whole Home HD digital video recorder (DVR) system. Either a new account or an existing account can be used with the upgrade. A persistent internet connection is required to access Pandora content.
TiVo tries to hold off Motorola suit with its own
TiVo picked an SEC filing to disclose that it had fired back against a 2011 Motorola lawsuit with one of its own. The new complaint, which also includes Motorola customer Time Warner Cable, accuses the two of violating its key Time Warp patents, including for simultaneous DVR recording and watching, converting TV to digital video, and performing functions on a live stream. The filing, as it wasn't a court document, was short on details.
FCC moves on possibly mandating 700MHz unity
The FCC in an Open Commission Meeting Wednesday morning unanimously voted to pursue possibilities for significantly improving 4G's use in the US. It would verify whether there would be any adverse effect to making the 700MHz A, B, and C blocks of spectrum interoperable, letting one roam on the other. Agency officials would want outside input on what the rules would be if there were little to no interference, as well as whether any interference might be cut back.
Hub leases for $10/month with basic packages
Dish Network has reportedly begun selling its Hopper whole-home DVR system, which was first unveiled early this year at CES. The system centers around the Hopper, a set-top box that integrates a 2TB drive, and smaller 'Joey' units that serve as extenders to distribute the video throughout a home.
FCC says Dish must wait on 4G waiver
The FCC on Friday delayed a decision whether or not Dish could get a waiver for a satellite-free version of its proposed 4G phone network. The agency decided that the "rulemaking process" was necessary for the public good. It didn't give details of when a decision was expected, although claims by a pair of Reuters sources had a decision targeted for the end of the year.
Dish CEO positive on cellphones if FCC clears it
Dish Network chairman Charlie Ergen believed his company had an 80 percent shot at succeeding with its potential 4G phone network. It hinged on the FCC giving the LTE network a waiver to run, but he called it both a core part of Dish's plans. Cellphone service could even be a "transformative strategy," Ergen said.
Dish Hopper gets our run-through at CES
Dish Network had an unusually strong presence at CES this year and gave us time to try its new Hopper DVR system. The three-tuner box is one of the more aggressive recorders we've seen and can record as many as six shows at once through a unique trick: it loads the four major US TV networks (ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC) on one tuner during prime time hours. It's hard to tell if there's any compression artifacts from the recorded shows on those networks, but it looked good in the controlled conditions of the CES floor.
Dish Network to reveal Hopper home DVR at CES
Early details on Dish Network's planned CES unveiling of a home DVR dubbed Hopper have been revealed. It will be a rebrand of EchoStar's next-generation XiP satellite whole home DVR hardware (XiP 813), which gets extender units called Joeys (XiP 110). It's said to have three tuners and a built-in 2TB hard drive.
Broadcom makes deal with SlingBox, Myriad
Chipmaker Broadcom has made a few significant deals this week, partnering with Sling Media for its EchoStar set-top technology and with Myriad for the Alien Vue solution. The deals could result in a Broadcom system-on-chip that may allow set-top boxes for TVs that run Android apps and aren't limited to home Wi-Fi networks. Thus far, only Dish Network allows place-shifting in Sling's Slingbox set-tops.
ATT makes no progress on T-Mo asset sale offers
AT&T isn't making any progress in its attempts to sell T-Mobile assets to rescue its attempted buyout of T-Mobile, insiders uncovered Sunday. Discussions with smaller carriers have reportedly "gone cold," the Wall Street Journal heard. Among other problems, attempts to sell assets to Leap for its Cricket service fell as doubts existed that even this could salvage AT&T's proposed T-Mobile merger.
Would also want assets if divestiture required
Dish Network has indicated that it might be interested in acquiring assets from either AT&T or T-Mobile if their proposed $39 billion merger fails to go through. This insight came from Dish's CEO Joseph Clayton in an interview with Bloomberg. Dish has already expressed interest in acquiring customers and spectrum if US regulators require AT&T to divest any such assets in order to allow the deal to be completed.
Dish may use streaming to cut expensive TV
Dish is contemplating a TV streaming service that could be an end-run around costs for traditional TV, according to possible new leaks. The strategy as explained to the Wall Street Journal would see channels from "several" studios licensed for paid streaming online to help make it cheaper to adopt Dish's TV service. Some of the cost would come from excising sports channels it's normally required to carry from the cheapest Internet pricing plans, as they often cost disproportionately much more than other stations.
Yahoo rumored jumping ship from Hulu deals
Yahoo is reportedly out of the increasingly uncertain bidding process for Hulu, a claimed leak said late Sunday. The search engine has allegedly been identified by the WSJ sources as the original mystery bidder but also to have exited entirely. The internal turmoil following Carol Bartz' firing and the possibility of a sell-off were attributed to the departure.
Sprint ex parte letter asking FCC to block merger
Wireless carrier Sprint has filed an ex parte letter (PDF) with the FCC, asking it to bring the proposed AT&T buyout of T-Mobile to a hearing overseen by an administrative law judge. While the FCC is still deliberating a final decision on the matter, its objection would result in just such a hearing. Sprint is trying to speed up the process and ask the FCC to deny the merger.
Google bid higher, but wanted special conditions
Sources say that Dish Network is the frontrunner in the bid to buy Hulu, beating out Google, Amazon, and Yahoo. Its offer is reportedly in the range $1.9 billion. Other bidders may have been put off by Hulu's plans to move away from its free, ad-supported model or the lack of certainty about the availability of content. For instance Google's bid was in the $4 billion range according to sources, but came with the demand that the networks continue to provide programming after their current contracts expire in a few years.
Dish looking for mobile carrier partner: CEO
The CEO of Dish Network, Joseph Clayton, said in an interview on Monday that the company could be looking into partnering or acquiring a wireless carrier. He floated to Bloomberg the prospect of getting either Sprint or Clearwire. The Dish executive admitted, however, that his company also need to secure wireless infrastructure, more technological capabilities, and distribution.