Dish Network USA
Established in March 1996, DISH Network is the leader in technology and HD programming, and currently serves more than 14.19 million customers. The corporate office is based in the Meridian Complex located in Englewood, Colorado.
DISH Network, a publicly traded Fortune 200 company, is the media and entertainment arm of its former parent company, EchoStar Communications Corporation, founded in 1980 by Charlie Ergen, Candy Ergen and Jim DeFranco.
The two companies officially split in 2008 - EchoStar becoming the source for the technology DISH Network uses to offer TV services - and Charlie Ergen remained at the helm of both entities.
DISH Network is known as the value leader among all television providers. The company has a reputation for keeping costs low internally in order to pass savings on to subscribers.
An enterprise-wide motto is to "spend money like it's your own." Following that mantra, DISH Network chooses to make careful investments. The company is known for negotiating fair contracts with programmers to ensure the best quality programming for customers at the greatest value.
Early Growth (1980-1999)
Although DISH Network officially began operations in March 1996, its roots date back to 1980 when Charlie Ergen, Candy Ergen and Jim DeFranco started EchoSphere (now EchoStar Communications Corporation).
As the legend goes, while on a road trip, Jim DeFranco spotted a truck carrying large C-band dishes down the highway. That truck sparked the idea for what has now become – in 30 short years – a Fortune 200 company.
In its infancy, Charlie and Jim would drive to rural Colorado locations to deliver the C-band satellites for a price of up to $15,000. The installation cost $600, and if you lived more than 50 miles outside the Denver headquarters, it was an additional dollar per mile – unless, of course, you allowed Charlie and Jim to rest for the night at your home in which case, the fee was waived.
By 1985, EchoSphere had amassed more than $100 million in revenue and one million C-band dishes could be found across the United States.
In order to continue the company's rapid growth, Charlie, Candy and Jim knew they needed an alternative to the giant C-band dishes. In 1987, EchoSphere applied for its direct-broadcast satellite (DBS) license with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which would afford the pioneers the opportunity to install small dishes on more homes. In 1992, EchoStar was granted access to the 119º West Longitude orbital slot.
With the license in place and the capital to back it up, EchoStar set plans in motion to launch its first satellite. On December 28, 1995, EchoStar successfully launched EchoStar I to the 119º West Longitude orbital slot. With the satellite in place and the newly completed satellite uplink center in Cheyenne, Wyoming, the DISH Network brand name was born, representing the customer-facing satellite TV service. In March 1996, the company made its first broadcast to customers.
Just four months following the successful launch of EchoStar I, DISH Network reached the 100,000 subscriber milestone. That rapid growth continued into the next year when the company celebrated its millionth customer.
In 1998, EchoStar purchased the broadcasting assets of a satellite broadcasting joint venture of News Corporation's ASkyB and MCI Worldcom. With this purchase, EchoStar obtained 28 of the 32 transponder licenses in the 110° West Longitude orbital slot, more than doubling existing continental United States (CONUS) broadcasting capacity at a value of $682.5 million.
DISH Network acquired more satellite capacity at 61.5° West Longitude in 1999, allowing the company to further expand its programming options. Later that year, DISH Network unveiled the DISH 500, the world's first and only 500-channel satellite TV system.
Sustaining Prosperity (2000-Present)
In January of 2000, DISH Network initiated its reign as the industry's HD leader by releasing its first HDTV receiver. By the end of 2000, DISH Network's more than five million customers were watching world-class satellite television from six satellites. Additionally, customers enjoyed best-in-class customer service from the company atop the J.D. Power and Associates rankings, with 2000 being the second consecutive year DISH Network earned the number one spot in Customer Satisfaction among satellite and cable subscribers.
In 2001, EchoStar introduced the DISH Network PRO 501, its first satellite receiver featuring a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) and Interactive TV.
In 2002, DISH Network widened its programming options to sports fans by introducing both the NHL Center Ice and the NBA League Pass packages. Earlier in 2002, DISH Network was celebrated at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), winning the CEA Innovations 2002 International CES Design and Engineering Award, "Best of Show" for satellite systems for the DishPVR 721.
The following year, DISH Network continued to demonstrate its ability to innovate while providing the best in HD when it won the CES 2003 "Best of Show" Award in the home video category for the DishPVR 921 receiver.
With continued growth and success on the horizon, EchoStar launched its ninth satellite in August 2003, allowing DISH Network to once again expand its programming capabilities. EchoStar IX was the first satellite equipped with commercial Ka band payload for broadband service over the U.S. and was launched from a floating platform at the Equator.
Now with more capacity and capabilities, in 2004 DISH Network became the first satellite TV service to offer local channels to all 50 states. DISH Network also introduced the nation's first interactive TV multiple picture-in-picture application for the 2004 Olympic Games, offering a wide selection of real-time coverage from multiple channels at once.
Because of its continued leadership in HD and innovation, in 2004 DISH Network activated its 10 millionth customer, and by 2005, the provider was supporting more than 11 million subscribers. Even with the rapid growth in subscriber numbers, DISH Network remained first in customer service, named number one by J.D. Power and Associates in 2004 and The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) in 2005.
DISH Network's rapid growth continued into 2006 when the provider announced it had reached 12 million customers in January. The same month, DISH Network announced it offered the nation's largest HD lineup, a tradition that continues to this day.
Additionally, customers had the ability to view the largest HD lineup in the country using the CNET.com Editors' Choice ViP® 622 HD DVR, the world's first multi-room MPEG4 HD DVR.
In 2007, EchoStar announced the acquisition of Sling Media, with plans to integrate Sling technology into DISH Network products.
In January 2008, the company completed the spinoff of its technology and set-top box business into a separate publicly traded company, EchoStar Corporation, effectively splitting the original EchoStar into two separate businesses. DISH Network continues its focus on innovation in programming and service while EchoStar focuses on infrastructure and technological innovation.
The same year, DISH Network became the first and only pay-TV provider to offer a suite of digital-to-analog converter boxes, the DTVPal™, DTVPal™ Plus and the DTVPal™DVR, the only converter box with DVR capabilities.
The DTVPal won CNET's Best of CES Award in 2008, and in 2009, DISH Network earned the same honor from CNET for the revolutionary SlingLoaded™ ViP® 922 DVR. Also in 2009, DISH Network became the first pay-TV provider to offer a TV series in 1080p.
In May 2009, DISH Network introduced DISH Remote Access, a fully-featured online DVR scheduler for the PC, allowing customers to schedule DVR recordings on multiple receivers, delete timers, browse and search nine days of shows, and manage their DVR libraries by setting recording priorities, resolving recording conflicts and deleting programs they have already watched.
On January 6, 2010, DISH Network introduced TV Everywhere™, featuring the award-winning SlingLoaded™ ViP® 922 DVR, the Sling Adapter, and the DISH Remote Access Mobile App.
The next day, DISH Network announced a partnership with NeuLion to distribute live international TV
channels through an IPTV platform.
DISH Network continued into Spring and Summer 2010 with the March announcement of EchoStar XIV's successful launch to 119º West Longitude and news that it had become the first and only pay-TV provider to offer more than 200 HD channels.
On the heels of DISH Network's 200 HD channel announcement, the company announced in June that, based on Charlie Ergen's vision that no one was forced to pay more for color TV, so they should not be forced to pay more for HD, high definition programming would now be free for life for all DISH Network customers.
The mission of DISH Network is to be the best at delivering video anytime, anywhere.
Founders: Charlie Ergen, Candy Ergen and Jim DeFranco
Incorporation: April 1995; Initial public offering (NASDAQ): June 1995
Headquarters: 9601 S. Meridian Blvd., Englewood, CO 80112
Management : Our executive team
Investor Relations : Financial and corporate governance information
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