Horizon Kinetics Comments on Dish Network
Dish Network (“Dish”) (DISH), the satellite TV company, with a stock market value of over $14 billion, is more than 50%-owned by founder Charles Ergen and his family. It trades at 13x so-called consensus earnings estimates for 2013. The company has been engaged in some activities other than satellite TV as well, but these do not as yet contribute to earnings. One of these activities has been the acquisition of broadband radio spectrum. Since 2008, Dish has made at least three significant spectrum-related acquisitions totaling $3.5 billion or more. We are immeasurably less qualified than Charles Ergen to determine the wisdom of this allocation of capital, but do presume that with $7 billion of his own capital at risk in this company, he is making the best decisions he can. One may infer that he believes that wireless spectrum is valuable.