That's one way to look at it. I'd say DirecTV has been smarter about it all along...hence the lack of lasting disputes and legal battles by comparison.
If by smarter you mean charging higher prices to keep/get programming then yes. And they do have more subscribers so they are doing something right. But while these disputes do get old, I am paying considerably less then my friends with Direct with maybe even more programming, and indeed with nothing looking good for the economy one is ready to switch, another has talked about it. One may give up Mets games to pay less with DISH and get a couple of channels in HD. The challenge for Dish imho is to keep a clear difference in cost. That said, they have added most of the new sports channels from CBS and NBC, along with BeIn, etc... and have both the BTN and PAC12 now, Direct TV does not have both.