​Dish Offer To Buy Sprint To Combine Future Of TV​​

By: | 04/16/2013 09:26 AM ET

Dish has made an offer to buy Sprint, and while it appears that a little company is hoping to buy a big prize, some investors are finding common sense with the unsolicited proposal.

Dish Offer To Buy Sprint

Dish earned about $14 billion in revenue in 2012 versus just north of $35 billion for Sprint. But even with an estimated $36 billion-plus in debt the merger would have to shoulder, it makes sense.Not just from Dish Chairman Charles Ergen’s vantage point, but for every smartphone-toting Game of Thrones addict who cares about the future of TV.

Dish is happy to ruffle the feathers of the industry to get what it wants. Its Hopper technology that skips commercials has raised the ire of CBS. And during a recent interview at the Dive Into Media conference, Ergen floated the idea that Dish would be glad to offer a la carte pay TV if the networks would be willing to unbundle premium channels.

For years now, viewers have been begging for just exactly that. What Dish does’t have is a unified way to broadcast onto mobile devices. Which is why Ergen and Dish would bet the farm on a $25.5 billion offer for Sprint.

According to Ergen the merger would allow Dish to stream live TV to mobile devices. Want to watch Game of Thrones on the go without a Slingbox (a company that Dish also acquired), just fire up your Sprint phone and watch the Starks battle the Lannisters. In the scenario Dish envisions, viewers would pay for one bundle of mobile and TV.

Watching TV on your phone on the subway is exciting, but more exciting is the possibility that Dish could create a mobile-only TV bundle. With smartphones capable of HD 1080p output, a phone could become a mobile TV antenna. Want to watch the game at a friends’ house but they don’t have a pay-TV subscription? Bring the game with you on your phone.

Both of these companies are willing to take risks that usually make consumers happy. Sprint still offering unlimited data when other carriers have hidden behind tiered data caps. These risks could work out wonderfully for consumers.

But Dish isn’t doing this for the sake of making people happy, it’s doing this because it needs to. Dish needs Sprint to fulfill Ergen’s desire to give everyone video everywhere. It has the satellites and the content for regular TV, but it needs an established carrier to deliver that content everywhere (and make use of the billions Ergen has already spent on wireless spectrum).

A future where satellite dishes are replaced with smartphones and tablets that are connected to HDTVs.