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Announcement:

Moody's says denial of injunction against DISH's AutoHop signals difficulty for broadcast networks

Global Credit Research - 08 Nov 2012

New York, November 08, 2012 -- Moody's Investors Service said that the ruling denying FOX Broadcasting Company's (owned by News Corporation -- Baa1 senior unsecured) efforts to block Dish Network Corporation's ('DISH'; Ba2 Corporate Family Rating) automatic recording and ad-skipping PrimeTime Anytime and AutoHop features gives DISH an early win over broadcast networks. The court appeared to acknowledge however, the copyrights of the broadcaster's content. In Moody's view, a victory by DISH in the continuing suit could, in the longer term, undermine the ability of broadcast networks to grow and sustain advertising revenue in the traditional fashion.

While we don't expect an immediate impact on either of the parties, the ruling may enable DISH to marginally differentiate itself from other pay-TV operators which do not offer similar automatic ad-skipping services, and increase its value proposition for consumers, who tend to favor commercial-free viewing. However, if DISH is victorious and the feature is adopted more broadly by other operators, we expect the battle to move from the court room to the negotiating table as broadcast retransmission agreements expire. "We expect networks will seek to get compensated for lost revenue by asking for higher fees than typical in the next round of commercial retransmission negotiations," stated Neil Begley, a Moody's Senior Vice President. "In turn, DISH would want smaller increases in fees in return for turning off the service, leaving DISH in a better position than some of its competitors," added Begley.

Moody's believes that the direction of these negotiations will to some extent depend on perceived consumer behavior -- if consumers highly value the feature and are more likely to acquire or retain the service as a result, DISH will likely seek to maintain the feature and it may be more widely adopted by other operators. In such a scenario, we expect the operators will end up paying more in retransmission fees to at least partially compensate for lost advertising revenue at the broadcast networks. On the other hand, if consumers view the feature as a subtle improvement to existing DVR capabilities and it does not materially impact their choice of operator, we believe that DISH is more likely to use the feature for leverage in its upcoming retransmission negotiations, by offering to remove the feature in exchange for lower fees or smaller annual increases. Either way, we expect already contentious retransmission negotiations between broadcast networks and pay-TV providers to become even more challenging in the coming years and more stations are likely to go dark temporarily on DISH's service.

For further information please see the issuer comment posted to www.moodys.com.

Please see ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on Moodys.com for the last rating action and the rating history.

DISH Network Corporation ("DISH") is a satellite (or direct-to-home) pay-TV provider, and the third largest pay television provider in the United States with 14.04 million subscribers as of 9/30/2012.

Neil Begley
Senior Vice President
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

John Diaz
MD - Corporate Finance
Corporate Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Moody's says denial of injunction against DISH's AutoHop signals difficulty for broadcast networks
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