Dish Turns a Triple-Play
We'll soon find out as Dish expects to start testing a triple-play video, voice and Internet service bundle in Colorado within the next 30 days, Tom Cullen, Dish's EVP of sales, marketing and programming, revealed here last week at the company's retailer summit. (See Photos: Dish Network's Retailer Summit and Dish Makes Its Adaptive Streaming Move.)
That will be one of the first results of Dish's purchase late last year of Liberty-Bell Telecom, a CLEC that leases voice and DSL lines from Qwest (now CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL)), and is licensed in every Qwest state service territory except for Arizona. Dish expects to salt that one away soon, Cullen said.
Dish intends to use its own brand when it kicks off its version of the triple-play, and tuck the Liberty-Bell entity inside the broader Dish structure. Dish also intends to keep the launch relatively low-key in the early going, Cullen said. It'll wait a bit before pulling the trigger elsewhere.
"We'll see how it goes in Colorado, and then we'll make decisions on how and where to expand," Cullen said.
But forgive Dish for not being overly optimistic just yet. Liberty-Bell wasn't exactly setting the Qwest territories on fire when Dish came calling. It reportedly had just 6,000 residential customers and 4,000 business customers in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah when the deal went down late last year.
But I give points to Dish for trying something new, as this is just the latest chapter in the Dish's transformation story, which has seen it take chances on some troubled assets, including Blockbuster Inc. and two spectrum-rich satellite firms. (See Dish's Baffling Blockbuster and Charlie Ergen's Spectrum Grab .)
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable