Dish Network offers $25.5B for Sprint Nextel

(Associated Press)

(Associated Press)

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(Updated 5:37 p.m.)

Did AT&T and Verizon see this coming?

Dish Network, the satellite TV provider, wants to go into the cellphone business by acquiring Sprint Nextel Corp. in a $25.5 billion cash and stock deal.

Dish has been struggling to grow its subscriber base for satellite TV service, which had 14.1 million customers at the end of last year, compared with DirectTV’s 20 million subscribers.

Sprint is trying to move out of its No. 3 spot among cellphone service providers, especially with the threat of a combination of T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS.

Of the nearly 3.8 million metro Atlantans age 18 and older with wireless plans, Sprint ranks No. 5 among providers with a 10 percent local market share, according to data provided by Scarborough Research. Nextel has less than 1 percent of the market. The metro wireless leaders are No. 1 AT&T (34 percent); No. 2 Verizon Wireless (22 percent); No. 3 MetroPCS (nearly 12 percent); and No. 4 T-Mobile (11 percent).

Dish Network also ranks No. 5 in metro Atlanta among bundled service providers with nearly 4 percent of the market. The bundled service leaders are No. 1 Comcast (48 percent); No. 2 AT&T (40 percent); No. 3 Charter (nearly 9 percent); and No. 4. DirecTV (6 percent).

During a conference call covered by The Associated Press, Dish Chairman Charles Ergen said teaming up with Sprint would allow both companies to provide twice as much bandwidth as AT&T and Verizon for cellphones, tablets and other devices.

Ergen told the New York Times the combined company “will create the only company that can offer customers a convenient, fully integrated, nationwide bundle of in- and out-of-home video, broadband and voice services.”

The deal offers more for Sprint than the $20 billion SoftBank Corp. is willing to pay for a 70 percent stake in the company. Softbank, a Japanese telecommunications company, also wants to position Sprint as a stronger competitor to AT&T and Verizon.

Dish says it’s even willing to pay a $600 million breakup fee for Sprint and SoftBank to call off their deal.

What do you think about the combination of Dish and Sprint?

20 comments Add your comment


April 15th, 2013
11:07 am

I think they are both crappy companies

Taxi Smith

April 15th, 2013
11:13 am

Well, if they buy it I hope they improve it. I was with Sprint for a couple of years and service was spotty at best. Lots of dead areas.


April 15th, 2013
11:13 am

No! I have Sprint and like it. I don’t need Dish messing everything up!


April 15th, 2013
11:25 am


April 15th, 2013
11:26 am

A Dish takeover would likely mean the end of the road as a Sprint customer for me. I won’t do business with them. It would probably only be a short time before they did away with unlimited data and ruin the one thing that attracts customers from the other crappy providers.


April 15th, 2013
11:37 am

I personally like Dish for TV service. Their customer service is much better then Direct and their prices are better. I’ve been with both companies and prefer Dish to Direct.

I’m an big time tailgter and their “Tailgater” package can’t be beat. Direct makes you sign a 12 month contract for and extra dish ……..Dish TV only makes you sign a 3 month contract. So its a no brainer of your a tailgater like me.


April 15th, 2013
11:53 am

If Dish has that much money, then they need to spend it on improving their service, because it sucks & so does Sprint. It seems their only concern is fattening their pockets and the hell with customer service!! Why have 2 crappy companies ran by the same people with no consideration as to how to improve service? If it weren’t for us they wouldn’t exist. That just speaks to corporate greed and the lack of concern for the customer. Why worry about our service, people with no other choice (rural customers) have to use us anyway? :(


April 15th, 2013
11:54 am

Now I know why the Bas raised my monthly rate!


April 15th, 2013
12:25 pm

I “sold” my stock in the “Disk” digital cable TV. I purchased stock in “RUKO” another digital stream which will cut my digital TV cost by 70% connected through the internet. Why would anyone still pay over $100 per month for digital TV?

When I see and hear about these types of deals between companies who have billions of dollars to invest (on paper only) in a market that is changing dramatically. I wonder how long before the rest of the world realizes these are just “paper” companies with no real assets.


April 15th, 2013
12:28 pm

Exactly…. How will both companies merging assist the consumer in Savings and Quality of Service…. That’s what I want to know.


April 15th, 2013
12:35 pm

Dish is FAR INFERIOR to DirecTV……………….so a miserable satellite TV company wants to buy a horrible cell phone company?!? Go for it………..I don’t think anyone will notice.


April 15th, 2013
12:53 pm

What then would they change the name from Nascar Sprint Cup? Nascar Dish Cup? That sounds like a Bowl. I’m confused.


April 15th, 2013
1:26 pm

When they stop lying and offering deals that are cheap up front but the double or trilpe after a year I might consider. SAT TV is way too expensive. If they want to cmpete they need to bring their prices down.

Robert H

April 15th, 2013
1:32 pm

I have had Dish Network and their customer service is horible, I am currently a sprint customer and not at all satisfied. If this merger is completed that will be fine with me because I will leave sprint, the same way I left Dish Network. At&t also has horrible customer service so they would not be a option I have realized as consumers we are fools to keep spending our money with any company that does not appreciate our business. The only way for us to flex our muscle is to not spend money with them, too many of these companies also lay off US workers to save money, But the US customer is also there main business THINK ABOUT IT PEOPLE. The customer service would improve at most of these compaies if they were adequatly staffed with american workers. KEEP OUR MONEY IN OUR POCKETS ….I am stepping down off of the soap box now. thank you for your time.

jim jones

April 15th, 2013
1:40 pm

Virgin Mobile uses the Sprint Network, I wonder if this deal could affect them as well?


April 15th, 2013
1:47 pm

I am a customer with both of these companies and have no complaints. Just hope the unlimited data remains.


April 15th, 2013
1:52 pm

I think this is a great idea. I have been with Sprint over 11 years and have had Dish for a couple years. I’m excited about the possible merger

Rick F

April 15th, 2013
2:21 pm

bad bad idea I have been a sprint customer for more than 10 years, dish is inferior to directv!


April 15th, 2013
8:14 pm

This is a good match. They should agree to do so as it would also not cost jobs since they have different customers so little duplication of work force titles. Hope it happens!

Sam I

April 16th, 2013
11:58 pm

Was with Dish for 10 years and gave them up 3 years ago due to bad customer service and ever increasing prices and leased equipment. Been with Sprint for 14+ and in the last 6 months very dissatisfied with the unlimited but really slow data on iPhone 4S, tethering slowness, the end of loyalty program, and this might just be the end of the road.