Dish Network in talks to merge with T-Mobile US, could pose challenge to Apple TV service

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 2015
Dish Network is in talks to merge with T-Mobile U.S., a report said on Thursday, and while major details remain unsorted, the companies are believed to be closely aligned about what a resulting entity would look like -- one that might pose a threat to Apple's rumored subscription TV service.




Dish CEO Charlie Ergen would become the new company's chairman, while T-Mobile CEO John Legere would retain his rank, sources told The Wall Street Journal. The major obstacles are believed to be financial, namely a purchase price and the percentages of cash and stock that would pay for the deal.

One of the sources described negotiations as being in a "formative stage," however, and said a merger could still fail to materialize.

For Dish the deal would serve several important purposes, above all giving it an alternate source of income in view of its shrinking satellite TV business, which is likely to suffer even more as growing numbers of people turn to the Internet for video. Dish also has billions of dollars in wireless licenses, but lacks a cellular network to make use of them.

Dish's main rival, DirecTV, is in the middle of a $49 billion acquisition by AT&T, which could make T-Mobile a way of remaining competitive, assuming both deals survive scrutiny by regulators.

An attempted Comcast takeover of Time Warner Cable was scrapped when government regulators signaled they were worried about the merged company having too much control of the U.S. media landscape. Similar concerns could be voiced about the AT&T/DirecTV and Dish/T-Mobile deals, as well as Charter's recent bid for TWC.

One Dish property is Sling TV, which began offering a streaming TV service earlier this year for $20 a month. With T-Mobile on board, that could present even greater competition for Apple, which is believed to be working on a TV service of its own.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 35
    massconn72massconn72 Posts: 162member
    Just one more reason for me to continue thinking about dumping my T-Mobile account. Their coverage sucks.
  • Reply 2 of 35
    Just one more reason for me to continue thinking about keeping my T-Mobile account. I have a router and know where to get wi-fi on those rare occasions where their coverage sucks.
  • Reply 3 of 35
    ingelaingela Posts: 217member

    All the carriers are trying to snag the pipes leading to consumers. If carriers can charge Apple customers for access to, Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, etc, AND offer their own similar services, it may make it harder for over the top services to compete on margins. 

  • Reply 4 of 35
    kent909kent909 Posts: 709member

    So why are satellite companies merging with cell phone companies? Are we ultimately going to get rid of the Comcast's of the world by moving to LTE for internet and TV? Not sure that is viable for everyone. I get mediocre cell service where I live, regardless of what carrier.

  • Reply 5 of 35
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,012member
    And this is what happens with these over regulated businesses. To grow they have to merge with some kind of vaguely related entity instead of the more logical competition.
  • Reply 6 of 35
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,961member

    AT&T buying Direct TV. T-Mobile buying Dish Network. Charter buying Time Warner. Does Apple need to be in the pipe business?

  • Reply 7 of 35
    addicted44addicted44 Posts: 822member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by droslovinia View Post



    Just one more reason for me to continue thinking about keeping my T-Mobile account. I have a router and know where to get wi-fi on those rare occasions where their coverage sucks.



    +++

     

    I am as big an Apple fan as any, and I don't understand why people are happy with a world where Apple controls all my devices as well as all the services I can access. And what makes it even worse, my only legitimate alternative (at least for services...no way am I entering the Android cesspool again until the manufacturers fix their support at the very least) is Google, who only wants to mine my personal information for their benefit.

     

    I love (loved?) OSX because it is (was ?) probably the best platform for 3rd party applications and services (largely because of the high standards set by the 1st party platforms). Even iOS/iPhone was the best platform for 3rd party applications with the best Google Maps implementation ever, when the iPhone came out, and the best MS apps right now.

     

    My concern with Apple is that lately when it has been entering a service, it has been eliminating its competitors from providing a high quality alternative. The best example of this, of course, is Maps, which does not provide transit, and competitors cannot provide an easy drop-in replacement (looking up directions means opening the Apple Maps app, then hitting the transit tab, followed by opening the actual app you want) which has significantly degraded the Apple experience for the last several years. An area in which Apple was the unequivocal leader.

     

    Sorry for the rant. TLDR; Apple services/applications are okay, but Apple should have them succeed on their own merits, like it did on OSX and in the first few years of iOS, instead of by degrading the 3rd party experience.

  • Reply 8 of 35
    plovellplovell Posts: 797member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kent909 View Post

     

    So why are satellite companies merging with cell phone companies? Are we ultimately going to get rid of the Comcast's of the world by moving to LTE for internet and TV? Not sure that is viable for everyone. I get mediocre cell service where I live, regardless of what carrier.




    In this specific case it makes a lot of sense because Dish has quite a bit of spectrum that would help T-Mobile fill its coverage gaps.

  • Reply 9 of 35
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,012member
    lkrupp wrote: »
    AT&T buying Direct TV. T-Mobile buying Dish Network. Charter buying Time Warner. Does Apple need to be in the pipe business?

    IMO, Apple should buy or make majority stockholder investments in Disney/ABC.
  • Reply 10 of 35
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,961member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kent909 View Post

     

    So why are satellite companies merging with cell phone companies? Are we ultimately going to get rid of the Comcast's of the world by moving to LTE for internet and TV? Not sure that is viable for everyone. I get mediocre cell service where I live, regardless of what carrier.




    When I was still working for Ma Bell the talk was exactly that. The ‘last mile’ would eventually be LTE. Simply stick a short range antenna on all those U-Verse VRADs and get rid of the copper all together. Eliminate maintenance costs and the employee labor associated with them.  Short range LTE, no copper or fiber to the home. If the technology reduces costs then you can count on it happening eventually. LTE speeds will increase as time passes. 

  • Reply 11 of 35
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,012member
    lkrupp wrote: »

    When I was still working for Ma Bell the talk was exactly that. The ‘last mile’ would eventually be LTE. Simply stick a short range antenna on all those U-Verse VRADs and get rid of the copper all together. Eliminate maintenance costs and the employee labor associated with them.  Short range LTE, no copper or fiber to the home. If the technology reduces costs then you can count on it happening eventually. LTE speeds will increase as time passes. 

    And the population also gets a nice constant microwave radiation bath. Should help cut home heating costs.
  • Reply 12 of 35
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,586member
    addicted44 wrote: »

    +++

    I am as big an Apple fan as any, and I don't understand why people are happy with a world where Apple controls all my devices as well as all the services I can access. And what makes it even worse, my only legitimate alternative (at least for services...no way am I entering the Android cesspool again until the manufacturers fix their support at the very least) is Google, who only wants to mine my personal information for their benefit.

    I love (loved?) OSX because it is (was ?) probably the best platform for 3rd party applications and services (largely because of the high standards set by the 1st party platforms). Even iOS/iPhone was the best platform for 3rd party applications with the best Google Maps implementation ever, when the iPhone came out, and the best MS apps right now.

    My concern with Apple is that lately when it has been entering a service, it has been eliminating its competitors from providing a high quality alternative. The best example of this, of course, is Maps, which does not provide transit, and competitors cannot provide an easy drop-in replacement (looking up directions means opening the Apple Maps app, then hitting the transit tab, followed by opening the actual app you want) which has significantly degraded the Apple experience for the last several years. An area in which Apple was the unequivocal leader.

    Sorry for the rant. TLDR; Apple services/applications are okay, but Apple should have them succeed on their own merits, like it did on OSX and in the first few years of iOS, instead of by degrading the 3rd party experience.

    What the hell are you talking about? The alternative services are all available through iOS apps. Apple has not eliminated the competition. Unbelievably so. This forces their internal teams to be constantly improving the Apple offerings which they have been doing - especially in maps.
  • Reply 13 of 35
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,979member
    lkrupp wrote: »
    kent909 wrote: »
     
    So why are satellite companies merging with cell phone companies? Are we ultimately going to get rid of the Comcast's of the world by moving to LTE for internet and TV? Not sure that is viable for everyone. I get mediocre cell service where I live, regardless of what carrier.


    When I was still working for Ma Bell the talk was exactly that. The ‘last mile’ would eventually be LTE. Simply stick a short range antenna on all those U-Verse VRADs and get rid of the copper all together. Eliminate maintenance costs and the employee labor associated with them.  Short range LTE, no copper or fiber to the home. If the technology reduces costs then you can count on it happening eventually. LTE speeds will increase as time passes. 

    Even short range LTE needs a landline.
  • Reply 14 of 35
    plovellplovell Posts: 797member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

     
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post



    AT&T buying Direct TV. T-Mobile buying Dish Network. Charter buying Time Warner. Does Apple need to be in the pipe business?




    IMO, Apple should buy or make majority stockholder investments in Disney/ABC.



    Majority investment, maybe. But I fear for us all if Apple buys and decides to run an ISP service, with or without TV/cable. 

     

    Using iCloud service quality as a measure, and remembering .Mac and MobileMe predecessors, this would be a disaster. Google seems to be doing OK with gmail - it gives me much less problem than iCloud.

  • Reply 15 of 35
    plovellplovell Posts: 797member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

     
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kent909 View Post

     

    So why are satellite companies merging with cell phone companies? Are we ultimately going to get rid of the Comcast's of the world by moving to LTE for internet and TV? Not sure that is viable for everyone. I get mediocre cell service where I live, regardless of what carrier.




    When I was still working for Ma Bell the talk was exactly that. The ‘last mile’ would eventually be LTE. Simply stick a short range antenna on all those U-Verse VRADs and get rid of the copper all together. Eliminate maintenance costs and the employee labor associated with them.  Short range LTE, no copper or fiber to the home. If the technology reduces costs then you can count on it happening eventually. LTE speeds will increase as time passes. 




    Not sure about the "LTE" part. Isn't this what all the "white space" spectrum discussion was all about ?? All those unused and/or recently-freed TV channels. 

     

    So you'd have fiber strung along main roads and white-space short-haul to individual houses. AT&T's U-Verse approach makes a lot of sense if you can use this spectrum.

  • Reply 16 of 35
    isteelersisteelers Posts: 738member
    addicted44 wrote: »

    +++

    I am as big an Apple fan as any, and I don't understand why people are happy with a world where Apple controls all my devices as well as all the services I can access. And what makes it even worse, my only legitimate alternative (at least for services...no way am I entering the Android cesspool again until the manufacturers fix their support at the very least) is Google, who only wants to mine my personal information for their benefit.

    I love (loved?) OSX because it is (was ?) probably the best platform for 3rd party applications and services (largely because of the high standards set by the 1st party platforms). Even iOS/iPhone was the best platform for 3rd party applications with the best Google Maps implementation ever, when the iPhone came out, and the best MS apps right now.

    My concern with Apple is that lately when it has been entering a service, it has been eliminating its competitors from providing a high quality alternative. The best example of this, of course, is Maps, which does not provide transit, and competitors cannot provide an easy drop-in replacement (looking up directions means opening the Apple Maps app, then hitting the transit tab, followed by opening the actual app you want) which has significantly degraded the Apple experience for the last several years. An area in which Apple was the unequivocal leader.

    Sorry for the rant. TLDR; Apple services/applications are okay, but Apple should have them succeed on their own merits, like it did on OSX and in the first few years of iOS, instead of by degrading the 3rd party experience.

    Apple branched out into maps because Google was withholding features from their iOS equivalent like turn-by-turn directions. It has been rumored that Google wanted more access to personal data than Apple was inclined to give and Google was holding features as leverage. It wasn't until Apple Maps was released that Google suddenly brought those features up to par. Third party apps will never have the system access that first party apps do, and that is true with every platform. People always claim that competition is good unless Apple throws its hat into the ring.
  • Reply 17 of 35
    pujones1pujones1 Posts: 151member
    ingela wrote: »
    All the carriers are trying to snag the pipes leading to consumers. If carriers can charge Apple customers for access to, Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, etc, AND offer their own similar services, it may make it harder for over the top services to compete on margins. 
    Good point.
  • Reply 18 of 35
    iaeeniaeen Posts: 588member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by addicted44 View Post

     

    [...]My concern with Apple is that lately when it has been entering a service, it has been eliminating its competitors from providing a high quality alternative. The best example of this, of course, is Maps, which does not provide transit, and competitors cannot provide an easy drop-in replacement (looking up directions means opening the Apple Maps app, then hitting the transit tab, followed by opening the actual app you want) which has significantly degraded the Apple experience for the last several years. An area in which Apple was the unequivocal leader.[...]


     

    No, Maps is the least relevant example. Apple only made their own mapping service because Google withheld features and treated Apple customers as second class citizens. As a direct result of that, we now have a new and improved Google Maps app for iOS. Additionally, when people complained about Apple Maps, Apple actually advertised alternative providers.

     

    As for Maps being the default, I think that location services is baked too deeply into iOS to be easily replaced by an alternative.

     

    Yes, Maps has its limitations. Public transit is a good example as is the fact that Yelp is a terrible provider of POI info, but lets not kid ourselves. Maps, other than in these few specific cases, is a huge improvement over the old Google maps.

  • Reply 19 of 35
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,979member
    isteelers wrote: »
    addicted44 wrote: »

    +++

    I am as big an Apple fan as any, and I don't understand why people are happy with a world where Apple controls all my devices as well as all the services I can access. And what makes it even worse, my only legitimate alternative (at least for services...no way am I entering the Android cesspool again until the manufacturers fix their support at the very least) is Google, who only wants to mine my personal information for their benefit.

    I love (loved?) OSX because it is (was ?) probably the best platform for 3rd party applications and services (largely because of the high standards set by the 1st party platforms). Even iOS/iPhone was the best platform for 3rd party applications with the best Google Maps implementation ever, when the iPhone came out, and the best MS apps right now.

    My concern with Apple is that lately when it has been entering a service, it has been eliminating its competitors from providing a high quality alternative. The best example of this, of course, is Maps, which does not provide transit, and competitors cannot provide an easy drop-in replacement (looking up directions means opening the Apple Maps app, then hitting the transit tab, followed by opening the actual app you want) which has significantly degraded the Apple experience for the last several years. An area in which Apple was the unequivocal leader.

    Sorry for the rant. TLDR; Apple services/applications are okay, but Apple should have them succeed on their own merits, like it did on OSX and in the first few years of iOS, instead of by degrading the 3rd party experience.

    Apple branched out into maps because Google was withholding features from their iOS equivalent like turn-by-turn directions. It has been rumored that Google wanted more access to personal data than Apple was inclined to give and Google was holding features as leverage. It wasn't until Apple Maps was released that Google suddenly brought those features up to par. Third party apps will never have the system access that first party apps do, and that is true with every platform. People always claim that competition is good unless Apple throws its hat into the ring.

    How was Google withholding anything? It wasn't their app it was Apple's app built using the map data from Google. Why didn't Apple include turn by turn directions?
  • Reply 20 of 35
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,871member

    Nowhere does the article explain the headline "Dish Network in talks to merge with T-Mobile US, could pose challenge to Apple TV service".

     

    Pardon my ignorance, but how would this pose a challenge to Apple outside of Dish already being a sat company???

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