Amazon buying DISH? Could be

Rumors have been swirling that Amazon is interested in buying or absorbing DISH. Of course there are rumors like this all the time, but this one has me thinking. Honestly, it could be a good fit.

First of all let’s admit that Amazon has just buttloads and buttloads of money. This is something they could do without blinking. On top of which, the deal probably wouldn’t get a lot of scrutiny since the two companies are not competitors.

Amazon’s money would solve a lot of problems for DISH. The company, though better managed in the last decade than in previous years, has always had a perception among those who know as a plaything for founder and longtime leader Charlie Ergen, a maverick entrepreneur who does what he wants and says what he wants, leaving his legal department to sort out the mess. Corporate supervision from Amazon would continue DISH’s transformation into a solid, stable enterprise that was not dependent on the vision of a single person. That means it would be more likely to survive in the future.

Of course, that money could help offset the losses in revenues that have plagued DISH in recent years, due to the shrinking pay-TV market. Pay TV in general is turning into a cutthroat business where the real race among the major players is to transform yourself into anything but a pay-TV company. Comcast and its terrestrial rivals have focused on internet service, while AT&T and DISH have both launched live TV streaming services.

That live streaming video could be very interesting to Amazon. The company’s Prime Video product, is consistently in the top three streaming services. Its original content is considered some of the best, and its partnership with A24 Studios brings it high-end films regularly. Yet, it cannot catapult past Netflix and Hulu. Adding a live TV streaming service would take them to new heights, and of course the satellite TV service would also come along for the ride.

Perhaps the best synergy, though, would be in wireless services. DISH has acquired large chunks of wireless spectrum over the years and at this point it’s hard to imagine that they have any idea what they’ll do with it. They couldn’t really launch a new cellular carrier at this point, that market is pretty well covered. There was a thought at one point that it would be used to deliver television service to areas where a dish was impractical, but that’s a shrinking market too. However, a lot of these odd frequencies could be used by Amazon in a hundred different ways. They could establish a private cellular network for their delivery vehicles. They could use it for communications in their huge warehouses. They could even use it for consumers, creating a private streaming service for their hardware.

Before you dismiss any of those as wild ideas, think about this:

  • Amazon is said to be developing their own fleet of planes just for their deliveries. Why wouldn’t they have their own cellular network for their trucks?
  • Their warehouses are just fricken huge. Wireless communication would have to be a big part of what they do there.
  • When the first Kindle launched in 2007, it included free wireless service from Sprint for life. Future Kindles could include free access to Amazon’s private network.

The point is, when you are as big as Amazon, you can do these seemingly nonsensical things and they do actually work. DISH has all sorts of resources acquired over the years that they don’t know what to do with and Amazon’s people could easily find something.

I do actually think this is probably a rumor that will blow over, but it’s a rumor that makes “just enough sense” that it might actually start some people thinking.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 9,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.