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DISH Network Corp Class A DISH

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Overheating C-Band Spectrum Bidding Threatens Telecom Fair Values; Cutting Verizon and AT&T FVEs

Analyst Note

| Michael Hodel, CFA |

Bidding in the FCC’s C-Band spectrum auction quickly pushed far past reasonable levels this week, with gross bids roughly tripling since Dec. 18 to reach nearly $70 billion. As a result, bidding has already exceeded 15 times the amount spent at the CBRS auction last summer despite the C-Band auction offering only four times as much capacity albeit with more flexible operating conditions. Heading into the auction, conventional thinking, including ours, held that Verizon would dominate to augment its mid-band spectrum holdings, with AT&T also looking to add to its holdings. A host of other bidders are now involved, though, including T-Mobile, Dish Network, cable companies Comcast and Charter (bidding jointly), and investments funds. At this point, it’s anyone’s guess as to which actors have been driving prices higher and who will ultimately end up holding the bag. Bidding is paused for holiday break until Jan. 4 and may still run for some time before winners are announced. Meanwhile, we raise our expectations for the amounts Verizon and AT&T will spend and cut our fair value estimates to $57 from $59 and $36 from $37, respectively.

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Company Profile

Business Description

From its founding in the 1980s Dish Network has primarily focused on the satellite television business, capitalizing on technological advancements to expand its reach. The firm now serves 9.4 million U.S. customers via its network of owned and leased satellites. Dish launched an Internet-based television offering under the Sling brand in 2015 and now serves about 2.6 million customers on this platform. Dish’s future, however, hinges primarily on the wireless business. The firm has amassed a large portfolio of spectrum licenses over the past decade, spending more than $21 billion in the process. It plans to acquire Sprint's prepaid business and build a nationwide wireless network.

9601 South Meridian Boulevard
Englewood, CO, 80112
T +1 303 723-1000
Sector Communication Services
Industry Entertainment
Most Recent Earnings Sep 30, 2020
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2020
Stock Type Slow Growth
Employees 16,000