3 Media Stocks in Focus: Dish Drops Air Wave Plans, Disney Holds Fast, and Pirates Help Netflix
DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH): Dish has agreed to withdraw its plans to use its air waves for a high-powered national TV service, to address concerns that it could cause interference with other systems. The move could push the value of Dish’s spectrum holdings up by as much as $1 billion (by analyst estimates), and in return, Dish is seeking technical changes that would allow its spectrum to be used for downloading of information, and pose fewer risks to system interference.
The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS): Some analysts have speculated that a confrontation between Disney and Dish Network is on the verge of breaking out over negotiations concerning a contract that is set to expire at the end of this month. While many think that Disney will pick up a favorable deal, citing the debacle between CBS and Time Warner Cable, others think that Dish Network’s CEO Charlie Ergen may take a stand for cable providers by refusing to give in to threats of a blackout of ESPN during football season.
Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX): Netflix has used a strategy whereby it pays attention to the shows are most popular to illegally download in areas of the world to which it is expanding for the first time. Then, it makes sure that those shows are available in those regions, such as Prison Break in the Netherlands. This not only helps to fight piracy, but it also serves to draw customers to the business. One problem with the tactic is that it usually fails for movies, where the most downloaded titles are new enough so as to rarely be available on Netflix.