As we all know, Charlie is fundamentally a hardware man. On the other hand the new Dish Network is, I thought, fundamentally a retail subscription programming delivery service. There is a significant difference between Charlie and Liberty Media, majority owner of DirecTV.
Liberty Media owns things like Starz, GSN (50%), Overture Films, and the Atlanta Braves. DirecTV is helping finance the next season of Friday Night Lights in return for getting to air it first to its subscribers before NBC airs it. And now we have this interesting tidbit from the Rocky Mountain News
posted in the DirecTV forum under the heading Liberty Media (DIRECTV) looking at Rainbow Media TV (VOOM) ?
Douglas County-based Liberty Media said it would consider buying Rainbow Media TV networks should it be put up for sale.
...Liberty Media has said it wants to build programming assets around DirecTV, in which it now has a controlling stake.
Rainbow operates such assets as the AMC TV networks, the Sundance Channel and the Voom HD networks. It may be worth $3.5 billion to $4 billion, said Chris Marangi, associate manager of the Gabelli Value Fund. The estimate doesn't include the recently acquired Sundance Channel, Marangi said.
So what "programming assets" is Charlie interested in? Because if it isn't more than the Tennis Channel, Dish Network may find itself outside looking in at its competitors effectively competing with each other using another venue - producing exclusive programming.
It would be more than ironic if Liberty Media acquired Rainbow Media which would give them VOOM, in addition to AMC, IFC, WE, and Sundance Channel.
And finally, I noticed this entry in Dish Network's
assests: "700 MHz wireless spectrum deposit." In the related notes, we have this sentence: "We will be required to make significant additional investments to commercialize these licenses and satisfy FCC build-out requirements."
Is it just me or does anyone else wonder what this asset acquired after the split is doing in Dish Network's books rather than Echostar's? It's an intensive hardware development asset. It's years away from being able to deliver any results.
What exactly is Dish Network in it's Board's collective mind?