Execs 'Dish' HD Importance to Retailers

About 3,000 DBS sales reps reportedly attended EchoStar's annual trade show ("Team Summit") in Denver last week, where company founders Charlie Ergen and James DeFranco discussed new products (in an event apparently not open to the media). Yet the Rocky Mountain News says both execs spent a fair amount of time discussing expansion of their Dish Network HD services.

Dish now offers its subs nearly 30 national HD channels such as recent additions HGTV HD, NFL Network HD, National Geographic Channel HD and Starz HDTV, as well as DVR options for both HD and SD fare. What it cannot offer at this time--to the disgruntlement of some retailers--is any form of bundling, especially Internet broadband, to more evenly compete with cable and telcos in large and medium markets. (A few DBS firms including Dish this week signed on with a broadband operator to cover mostly rural areas).

Dish also will reportedly cut its lease fee for its HD-DVR box from $300 to $200, starting next month.