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Dish Executives Get a Raise despite Profit Dip

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Executive pay and profits take different directions

Dish Network (DISH) paid its top executives more in 2018 than it did in the previous year despite the fact that the company generated less revenue and profit for the year, according to the company’s recent regulatory filing.

Dish CEO Erik Carlson took home $5.3 million in total compensation in 2018 compared to the $1.5 million he earned in 2017. Dish co-founder and chair Charlie Ergen earned $3.1 million in 2018, up from $2.4 million in 2017. The company’s head of corporate development, Thomas Cullen, walked away with $4.0 million in 2018 compared to the $1.2 million he collected in 2017.

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Dish’s television market is shrinking

Although Dish boosted the pay for its top executives in 2018, the company’s revenue and profit were both down from the previous year. Dish generated $13.6 billion in revenue in 2018, down from $14.4 billion in 2017. Dish continued to lose linear television customers in 2018 amid programming disputes with Univision and AT&T-owned (T) HBO. Dish’s 2018 profit was down to $1.6 billion from $2.1 billion in 2017.

Dish seeking to diversify business

Faced with a shrinking traditional pay-TV market, Dish is building a wireless network to help it diversify into the mobile service market. Comcast (CMCSA) and Charter Communications (CHTR) are some of the cable operators that have diversified into the mobile market. Altice USA (ATUS) is about to join them later this year with a mobile service built on Sprint’s (S) network. Comcast and Charter tapped Verizon’s network for their mobile service. Dish has elected to build its own wireless network instead of renting space on another operator’s network as some of its peers have done.

Dish is scheduled to hold its annual shareholder meeting on April 2019.

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