Dish Network’s chairman, and incoming CEO Charlie Ergen will be tasked with leading the company that he founded into the next generation of television, as he returns to the helm of the company following CEO Joe Clayton’s retirement. When it comes to the future of TV, Dish Network’s most exciting is not its namesake satellite pay-TV service, but rather it’s newly launched virtual pay-TV product, Sling TV. Though interestingly enough, Ergen suggested that a rival service from Sony could be the bigger disruptor to the TV industry, citing Playstation Vue’s rumored $80 price tag and larger lineup, more closely resembling traditional pay-TV subscriptions.
Ergen also took the opportunity to throw some shade at Comcast’s proposed merger with Time Warner, warning that Sling TV “wouldn’t make it” were the two cable giants to be allowed to merge. Judging from his comments, it would not seem that Ergen is confident in the FCC’s plan to protect net neutrality and innovative new services like Sling TV itself.
Despite being heavily invested in the current pay-TV ecosystem, Dish Network has worked to position itself well for the next generation of TV, which Ergen himself admits will be viewed on mobile devices. For the CEO of a pay-TV provider to acknowledge that shows how far we’ve come from the days when cord-cutting was often shrugged off by big cable as a non-issue.