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Behind Dish’s Latest Move At Sling TV

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Sling gets new advertising boss

Dish Network (DISH) has hired Dave Antonelli as head of advertising and sales at its Sling TV unit. The company stated that “Dave will apply his insights into the rapidly changing media landscape to further Sling’s leadership in advertising innovation as the lines between digital and TV continue to blur.” Antonelli was CEO at Cognitiv, a leading provider of artificial intelligence-driven advertising solutions. Antonelli has also held senior positions at Viacom (VIAB) and LiveNation (LYV).

This year, eMarketer estimates ~$107 billion will be spent on US television and digital video platforms. Dish is pursuing this revenue opportunity through Sling.

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Sling facing increased competition in the advertising market

The changes at Sling’s advertising desk could be Dish preparing for increased competition in digital video advertising. AT&T (T) and Comcast (CMCSA) are planning to launch ad-supported video streaming services that will compete with Sling for advertising customers, and Viacom’s purchase of ad-supported digital video provider Pluto TV signals its intent to expand in digital video advertising.

Google (GOOGL), Facebook (FB), and Twitter (TWTR) are also campaigning actively for digital video advertising dollars. Google is sweetening its ad-supported YouTube service with professionally produced original content, while Facebook’s dedicated video platform, Watch, aims to capture more video advertising expenditures. Twitter has inked over a dozen video deals with several media organizations in the Middle East. In the fourth quarter, Dish’s revenue fell 5.0% year-over-year to $3.3 billion.

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