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DISH > SEC Filings for DISH > Form 10-Q on 9-May-2013All Recent SEC Filings

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Form 10-Q for DISH NETWORK CORP


9-May-2013

Quarterly Report


Item 2. MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND
RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

You should read the following management's discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations together with the condensed consolidated financial statements and notes to our financial statements included elsewhere in this quarterly report. This management's discussion and analysis is intended to help provide an understanding of our financial condition, changes in financial condition and results of our operations and contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements are not historical facts, but rather are based on current expectations, estimates, assumptions and projections about our industry, business and future financial results. Our actual results could differ materially from the results contemplated by these forward-looking statements due to a number of factors, including those discussed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012 and this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q under the caption "Item 1A. Risk Factors."

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Overview

DISH added approximately 36,000 net Pay-TV subscribers during the three months ended March 31, 2013, compared to the addition of approximately 104,000 net Pay-TV subscribers during the same period in 2012. The decrease versus the same period in 2012 primarily resulted from an increase in our Pay-TV churn rate and lower gross new Pay-TV subscriber activations.

Our Pay-TV churn rate for the three months ended March 31, 2013 was 1.47% compared to 1.35% for the same period in 2012. Our Pay-TV churn rate was negatively impacted in part because we had a programming package price increase in the first quarter 2013 and did not during the same period in 2012. Churn continues to be adversely affected by the increased competitive pressures discussed below. Our Pay-TV churn rate is also impacted by, among other things, the credit quality of previously acquired subscribers, our ability to consistently provide outstanding customer service, the aggressiveness of competitor subscriber acquisition efforts, and our ability to control piracy and other forms of fraud.

During the three months ended March 31, 2013, DISH added approximately 654,000 gross new Pay-TV subscribers compared to the addition of approximately 673,000 gross new Pay-TV subscribers during the same period in 2012, a decrease of 2.8%. Our gross new Pay-TV subscriber activations continue to be negatively impacted by increased competitive pressures, including aggressive marketing and discounted promotional offers. In addition, our gross new Pay-TV subscriber activations continue to be adversely affected by sustained economic weakness and uncertainty.

On September 27, 2012, we began marketing our satellite broadband service under the dishNET™ brand. This service leverages advanced technology and high-powered satellites launched by Hughes and ViaSat to provide broadband coverage nationwide. This service primarily targets approximately 15 million rural residents that are underserved, or unserved, by wireline broadband, and provides download speeds of up to 10 Mbps. We lease the customer premise equipment to subscribers and generally pay Hughes and ViaSat a wholesale rate per subscriber on a monthly basis. Currently, we generally utilize our existing DISH distribution channels under similar incentive arrangements as our pay-TV business to acquire new Broadband subscribers.

In addition to the dishNET branded satellite broadband service, we also offer wireline voice and broadband services under the dishNET brand as a competitive local exchange carrier to consumers living in a 14-state region (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming). Our dishNET branded wireline broadband service provides download speeds of up to 20 Mbps.

We primarily bundle our dishNET branded services with our DISH branded pay-TV service, to offer customers a single bill, payment and customer service option, which includes a discount for bundled services. In addition, we market and sell our dishNET branded services on a stand-alone basis.

DISH added approximately 66,000 net Broadband subscribers during the three months ended March 31, 2013 compared to the addition of approximately 6,000 net Broadband subscribers during the same period in 2012. This


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Item 2. MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND
RESULTS OF OPERATIONS - Continued

increase versus the same period in 2012 primarily resulted from higher gross new Broadband subscriber activations. During the three months ended March 31, 2013, DISH added approximately 83,000 gross new Broadband subscribers compared to the addition of approximately 14,000 gross new Broadband subscribers during the same period in 2012. This increase was driven by increased advertising related to the dishNET branded broadband services. Broadband services revenue was $40 million and $20 million for the three months ended March 31, 2013 and 2012, respectively, and 1.2% and 0.6% of our total "Subscriber-related revenue," respectively.

"Net income (loss) attributable to DISH Network" for the three months ended March 31, 2013 was $216 million, compared to $360 million for the same period in 2012. During the three months ended March 31, 2013, "Net income (loss) attributable to DISH Network" decreased primarily due to an increase in subscriber-related expenses and subscriber acquisition costs, partially offset by the programming package price increase in February 2013. "Net income (loss) attributable to DISH Network" for the three months ended March 31, 2012 was favorably impacted by the non-cash gain of $99 million related to the conversion of our DBSD North America 7.5% Convertible Senior Secured Notes due 2009 in connection with the completion of the DBSD Transaction. See Note 8 in the Notes to the Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements for further information.

Our ability to compete successfully will depend on our ability to continue to obtain desirable programming and deliver it to our subscribers at competitive prices, among other things. Programming costs represent a large percentage of our "Subscriber-related expenses" and the largest component of our total expense. We expect these costs to continue to increase, especially for local broadcast channels and sports programming. Going forward, our margins may face pressure if we are unable to renew our long-term programming contracts on favorable pricing and other economic terms. In addition, increases in programming costs could cause us to increase the rates that we charge our subscribers, which could in turn cause our existing Pay-TV subscribers to disconnect our service or cause potential new Pay-TV subscribers to choose not to subscribe to our service. Additionally, our gross new Pay-TV subscriber activations and Pay-TV subscriber churn rate may be negatively impacted if we are unable to renew our long-term programming contracts before they expire or if we lose access to programming as a result of disputes with programming suppliers.

As the pay-TV industry has matured, we and our competitors increasingly must seek to attract a greater proportion of new subscribers from each other's existing subscriber bases rather than from first-time purchasers of pay-TV services. Some of our competitors have been especially aggressive by offering discounted programming and services for both new and existing subscribers. In addition, programming offered over the Internet has become more prevalent as the speed and quality of broadband networks have improved. Significant changes in consumer behavior with regard to the means by which they obtain video entertainment and information in response to digital media competition could materially adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition or otherwise disrupt our business.

While economic factors have impacted the entire pay-TV industry, our relative performance has also been driven by issues specific to DISH. In the past, our Pay-TV subscriber growth has been adversely affected by signal theft and other forms of fraud and by operational inefficiencies at DISH. To combat signal theft and improve the security of our broadcast system, we completed the replacement of our security access devices to re-secure our system during 2009. We expect that additional future replacements of these devices will be necessary to keep our system secure. To combat other forms of fraud, we continue to expect that our third party distributors and retailers will adhere to our business rules.

While we have made improvements in responding to and dealing with customer service issues, we continue to focus on the prevention of these issues, which is critical to our business, financial position and results of operations. We implemented a new billing system as well as new sales and customer care systems in the first quarter 2012. To improve our operational performance, we continue to make significant investments in staffing, training, information systems, and other initiatives, primarily in our call center and in-home service operations. These investments are intended to help combat inefficiencies introduced by the increasing complexity of our business, improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn, increase productivity, and allow us to scale better over the long run. We cannot, however, be certain that our spending will ultimately be successful in improving our operational performance.

We have been deploying receivers that utilize 8PSK modulation technology and receivers that utilize MPEG-4 compression technology for several years. These technologies, when fully deployed, will allow more programming channels to be carried over our existing satellites. Many of our customers today, however, do not have receivers that


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Item 2. MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND
RESULTS OF OPERATIONS - Continued

use MPEG-4 compression and a smaller but still significant number of our customers do not have receivers that use 8PSK modulation. We may choose to invest significant capital to accelerate the conversion of customers to MPEG-4 and/or 8PSK to realize the bandwidth benefits sooner. In addition, given that all of our HD content is broadcast in MPEG-4, any growth in HD penetration will naturally accelerate our transition to these newer technologies and may increase our subscriber acquisition and retention costs. All new receivers that we purchase from EchoStar have MPEG-4 technology. Although we continue to refurbish and redeploy MPEG-2 receivers, as a result of our HD initiatives and current promotions, we currently activate most new customers with higher priced MPEG-4 technology. This limits our ability to redeploy MPEG-2 receivers and, to the extent that our promotions are successful, will accelerate the transition to MPEG-4 technology, resulting in an adverse effect on our acquisition costs per new subscriber activation.

From time to time, we change equipment for certain subscribers to make more efficient use of transponder capacity in support of HD and other initiatives. We believe that the benefit from the increase in available transponder capacity outweighs the short-term cost of these equipment changes.

To maintain and enhance our competitiveness over the long term, we introduced the Hopper® set-top box, that a consumer can use, at his or her option, to view recorded programming in HD in multiple rooms. We recently introduced the Hopper set-top box with Sling, which promotes a suite of integrated products designed to maximize the convenience and ease of watching TV anytime and anywhere, which we refer to as DISH Anywhere™ that utilizes, among other things, online access and Slingbox "placeshifting" technology. In addition, the Hopper with Sling has several innovative features that a consumer can use, at his or her option, to watch and record television programming through certain tablet computers and combines program-discovery tools, social media engagement and remote-control capabilities through the use of certain tablet computers. There can be no assurance that these integrated products will positively affect our results of operations or our gross new Pay-TV subscriber activations.

During the second quarter 2012, the four major broadcast television networks filed lawsuits against us alleging, among other things, that the PrimeTime Anytime™ and AutoHop™ features of the Hopper set-top box infringe their copyrights. Subsequently, Fox has alleged that the Sling placeshifting functionality and Hopper Transfers™ feature of our second generation Hopper set-top-box infringe its copyrights. In the event a court ultimately determines that we infringe the asserted copyrights, we may be subject to, among other things, an injunction that could require us to materially modify or cease to offer these features. See Note 12 in the Notes to our Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements for further information.

Blockbuster

On April 26, 2011, we completed the Blockbuster Acquisition for a net purchase price of $234 million. Blockbuster primarily offers movies and video games for sale and rental through multiple distribution channels such as retail stores, by-mail, the blockbuster.com website and the BLOCKBUSTER On Demand® service. The Blockbuster Acquisition is intended to complement our core business of delivering high-quality video entertainment to consumers. We are promoting our new Blockbuster offerings including the Blockbuster@Home™ service which provides movies, games and TV shows through Internet streaming, mail and in-store exchanges and online. This offering is only available to DISH subscribers.

Blockbuster operations are included in our financial results beginning April 26, 2011. During the three months ended March 31, 2013, Blockbuster operations contributed $180 million in revenue and $1 million in operating income compared to $334 million in revenue and $14 million in operating income for the same period in 2012. The decrease in revenue during the three months ended March 31, 2013 primarily related to the deconsolidation of Blockbuster UK and Blockbuster domestic store closings during 2013 and 2012. During the first quarter 2013, we closed approximately 150 domestic retail stores, leaving us with approximately 650 domestic retail stores as of March 31, 2013. During the second quarter 2013 we plan to close approximately 150 additional stores.

We continue to evaluate the impact of certain factors, including, among other things, competitive pressures, the ability of significantly fewer Blockbuster domestic retail stores to continue to support corporate administrative costs, and other issues impacting the store-level financial performance of our Blockbuster domestic retail stores. These factors, or other reasons, could lead us to close additional Blockbuster domestic retail stores. In addition, to reduce administrative expenses, we moved the Blockbuster headquarters to Denver during June 2012.


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Item 2. MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND
RESULTS OF OPERATIONS - Continued

Blockbuster Entertainment Limited and Blockbuster GB Limited, our Blockbuster operating subsidiaries in the United Kingdom (collectively, the "Blockbuster UK Operating Entities"), entered into administration proceedings in the United Kingdom on January 16, 2013 (the "Administration"). Administrators were appointed by the English courts to sell or liquidate the assets of the Blockbuster UK Operating Entities for the benefit of their creditors. Since we no longer exercise control over operating decisions for the Blockbuster UK Operating Entities, we were required to deconsolidate our Blockbuster entities in the United Kingdom (collectively, "Blockbuster UK") on January 16, 2013. As a result of the Administration, we wrote down the assets of Blockbuster UK to their estimated net realizable value on our Consolidated Balance Sheets as of December 31, 2012, and we recorded a charge to "Cost of sales - equipment, merchandise, services, rental and other" of $21 million during the year ended December 31, 2012 on our Consolidated Statements of Operations and Comprehensive Income (Loss).

As of December 31, 2012, we had intercompany receivables due from Blockbuster UK of approximately $37 million that were previously eliminated in consolidation on our Consolidated Balance Sheets. As a result of deconsolidation of Blockbuster UK on January 16, 2013, the intercompany receivables are no longer eliminated in consolidation. We believe we will not receive the entire amount for these intercompany receivables in the Administration and accordingly, we recorded a $25 million impairment charge related to these intercompany receivables, to adjust these amounts to their estimated net realizable value for the year ended December 31, 2012. This impairment charge was recorded in "Other, net" within "Other Income (Expense)" on our Consolidated Statements of Operations and Comprehensive Income (Loss) and the resulting liability was recorded in "Other accrued expenses" on our Consolidated Balance Sheets as of December 31, 2012. In total, we recorded charges described above of approximately $46 million on a pre-tax basis on our Consolidated Statements of Operations and Comprehensive Income (Loss) for the year ended December 31, 2012 related to the Administration.

As of December 31, 2012, Blockbuster UK had total assets and liabilities as follows (in thousands):

Cash                                        $  14,072
Trade accounts receivable                       1,153
Inventory                                      34,937
Other current assets                           10,243
Restricted cash and marketable securities         484
Property and equipment                            186
Trade accounts payable                        (13,081 )
Intercompany payable                          (36,676 )
Deferred revenue and other                     (1,369 )
Other accrued expenses                         (9,949 )
Total net assets                            $       -

Upon deconsolidation on January 16, 2013, the above amounts were combined into one net asset and the intercompany receivables of $37 million, net of the impairment liability of $25 million described above, were recorded in "Other noncurrent assets, net" on our Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets as a component of our investment in Blockbuster UK.

On March 25, 2013, Gordon Brothers Europe purchased certain assets and assumed certain liabilities of the Blockbuster UK Operating Entities through the Administration. As a result, we recorded an additional $2 million impairment charge related to the intercompany receivables, to adjust these amounts to their estimated net realizable value. This impairment charge was recorded in "Other, net" within "Other Income (Expense)" on our Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations and Comprehensive Income (Loss) for the three months ended March 31, 2013. In total, as of March 31, 2013, we have recorded charges of approximately $48 million on a pre-tax basis related to the Administration. The proceeds that we actually receive from the Administration and the actual impairment charge may differ from our estimates.

For the three months ended March 31, 2012, Blockbuster UK had $71 million of revenue and an operating loss of $4 million. Upon deconsolidation on January 16, 2013, the revenue and expenses related to Blockbuster UK are no longer recorded in our Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements.


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Item 2. MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND
RESULTS OF OPERATIONS - Continued

Wireless Spectrum

In 2008, we paid $712 million to acquire certain 700 MHz wireless spectrum licenses, which were granted to us by the FCC in February 2009 subject to certain interim and final build-out requirements. On March 2, 2012, the FCC approved the transfer of 40 MHz of 2 GHz wireless spectrum licenses held by DBSD North America, Inc. ("DBSD North America") and TerreStar Networks, Inc. ("TerreStar") to us. On March 9, 2012, we completed the acquisition of 100% of the equity of reorganized DBSD North America (the " DBSD Transaction") and substantially all of the assets of TerreStar (the "TerreStar Transaction"), pursuant to which we acquired, among other things, certain satellite assets and wireless spectrum licenses held by DBSD North America and TerreStar. The total consideration to acquire the DBSD North America and TerreStar assets was approximately $2.860 billion. The financial results of DBSD North America and TerreStar are included in our results beginning March 9, 2012.

We generated $1 million and less than $1 million of revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2013 and 2012, respectively from our wireless segment. In addition, we incurred an $18 million and $8 million operating loss for the three months ended March 31, 2013 and 2012, respectively. We incur general and administrative expenses associated with certain satellite operations and regulatory compliance matters from our wireless spectrum assets. We also incur depreciation and amortization expenses associated with certain assets of DBSD North America and TerreStar. As we review our options for the commercialization of this wireless spectrum, we may incur significant additional expenses and may have to make significant investments related to, among other things, research and development, wireless testing and construction of a wireless network.

Operational Liquidity

Like many companies, we make general investments in property such as satellites, set-top boxes, information technology and facilities that support our overall business. However, since we are primarily a subscriber-based company, we also make subscriber-specific investments to acquire new subscribers and retain existing subscribers. While the general investments may be deferred without impacting the business in the short-term, the subscriber-specific investments are less discretionary. Our overall objective is to generate sufficient cash flow over the life of each subscriber to provide an adequate return against the upfront investment. Once the upfront investment has been made for each subscriber, the subsequent cash flow is generally positive.

There are a number of factors that impact our future cash flow compared to the cash flow we generate at a given point in time. The first factor is how successful we are at retaining our current subscribers. As we lose subscribers from our existing base, the positive cash flow from that base is correspondingly reduced. The second factor is how successful we are at maintaining our subscriber-related margins. To the extent our "Subscriber-related expenses" grow faster than our "Subscriber-related revenue," the amount of cash flow that is generated per existing subscriber is reduced. The third factor is the rate at which we acquire new subscribers. The faster we acquire new subscribers, the more our positive ongoing cash flow from existing subscribers is offset by the negative upfront cash flow associated with new subscribers. Finally, our future cash flow is impacted by the rate at which we make general investments and any cash flow from financing activities.

Our subscriber-specific investments to acquire new subscribers have a significant impact on our cash flow. While fewer subscribers might translate into lower ongoing cash flow in the long-term, cash flow is actually aided, in the short-term, by the reduction in subscriber-specific investment spending. As a result, a slow down in our business due to external or internal factors does not introduce the same level of short-term liquidity risk as it might in other industries.

Availability of Credit and Effect on Liquidity

The ability to raise capital has generally existed for us despite the weak economic conditions. Modest fluctuations in the cost of capital will not likely impact our current operational plans.


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Item 2. MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND
RESULTS OF OPERATIONS - Continued

Future Liquidity

4 1/4% Senior Notes due 2018

On April 5, 2013, we issued $1.2 billion aggregate principal amount of our five-year, 4 1/4% Senior Notes due April 1, 2018 at an issue price of 100.0%. Interest accrues at an annual rate of 4 1/4% and is payable semi-annually in cash, in arrears on April 1 and October 1 of each year, commencing on October 1, 2013.

5 1/8% Senior Notes due 2020

On April 5, 2013, we issued $1.1 billion aggregate principal amount of our seven-year, 5 1/8% Senior Notes due May 1, 2020 at an issue price of 100.0%. Interest accrues at an annual rate of 5 1/8% and is payable semi-annually in cash, in arrears on May 1 and November 1 of each year, commencing on November 1, 2013.

Wireless Spectrum

On March 2, 2012, the FCC approved the transfer of 40 MHz of 2 GHz wireless spectrum licenses held by DBSD North America and TerreStar to us. On March 9, 2012, we completed the DBSD Transaction and the TerreStar Transaction, pursuant to which we acquired, among other things, certain satellite assets and wireless spectrum licenses held by DBSD North America and TerreStar. The total consideration to acquire the DBSD North America and TerreStar assets was approximately $2.860 billion.

On February 15, 2013, the FCC issued an order, which became effective on March 7, 2013, modifying our 2 GHz licenses to expand our terrestrial operating authority. The FCC's order of modification has imposed certain limitations on the use of a portion of this spectrum, including interference protections for other spectrum users and power and emission limits that we presently believe could render 5 MHz of our uplink spectrum effectively unusable for terrestrial services and limit our ability to fully utilize the remaining 15 MHz of our uplink spectrum for terrestrial services. These limitations could, among other things, impact ongoing development of technical standards associated with our wireless business, and may have a material adverse effect on our ability to commercialize these licenses. The new rules also mandate certain interim and final build-out requirements for the licenses. By March 2017, we must provide terrestrial signal coverage and offer terrestrial service to at least 40% of the aggregate population represented by all of the areas covered by the licenses (the "2 GHz Interim Build-out Requirement"). By March 2020, we must provide terrestrial signal coverage and offer terrestrial service to at least 70% of the population in each area covered by an individual license (the "2 GHz Final Build-out Requirement"). If we fail to meet the 2 GHz Interim Build-out Requirement, the 2 GHz Final Build-out Requirement will be accelerated by one year, from March 2020 to March 2019. If we fail to meet the 2 GHz Final Build-out Requirement, our terrestrial authorization for each license area in which we fail to meet the requirement will terminate. In addition, the FCC is currently considering rules for a spectrum band that is adjacent to our 2 GHz licenses, known as the "H Block." If the FCC adopts rules for the H block that do not adequately protect our 2 GHz licenses, there could be a material adverse . . .

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