WHEN: TODAY, WEDNESDAY, March 25, 2015
WHERE: CNBC'S "SQUAWK ON THE STREET"
Following are excerpts from the unofficial transcript of a CNBC EXCLUSIVE interview with Dish Network Chairman & Incoming CEO Charlie Ergen today on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street." Video of the interview is available on CNBC.com.
All references must be sourced to CNBC.
Ergen on Spectrum Long Term:
WHATEVER WE DO WITH OUR SPECTRUM, IT WILL BE FOR THE LONG-TERM VALUE CREATION WE THINK WE CAN GET. WE'RE LONG-TERM PLAYERS, ONE OF THE GREAT ADVANTAGES WE HAVE, WE STARTED BUYING SPECTRUM SIX OR SEVEN YEARS AGO THE MARKET DIDN'T LIKE THAT, AND OUR STOCK WENT DOWN. SIX OR SEVEN YEARS LATER PEOPLE REALIZE THE VALUE OF THE SPECTRUM AND STOCK GOES UP. HAD WE NOT DONE THAT, WE WOULD HAVE NO OPTION BUT TO SELL OUR COMPANY.
Ergen on Comcast TWC Deal:
I THINK IT SHOULD BE BLOCKED. AND THE REASON IS I DON'T THINK YOU CAN TAKE THAT CONNECTIVITY, YOU CAN'T GIVE ONE COMPANY OVER A MAJORITY OF THE HOMES IN THE UNITED STATES FOR THAT HIGH SPEED BROADBAND ACCESS. SO EVERN WHEN YOU TRY TO COMPETE WITH THINGS LIKE DISH NETWORK OR NOW SLING TV, YOU -- SLING TV STILL NEEDS THAT CONNECTIVITY TO THE HOUSE THEY NEED THAT BROADBAND CONNECTION THAT HIGH SPEED CONNECTION. IN THAT MERGER, OVER 50% OF THAT WOULD BE CONTROLLED BY COMCAST.
Ergen on Downlink Opportunities:
WE'RE ABLE TO NOW HAVE THE OPTION TO GO ALL DOWNLINK WITH OUR EXISTING SPECTRUM AND OBVIOUSLY DOWNLINK IS MORE VALUABLE – IN FACT WE HAVE AS MUCH DOWNLINK SPECTRUM AS VERIZON DOES, SO THAT GIVES US SOMETHING. THEN THERE'S INTEROPERABILITY - YOU CANT ENTER THE MARKET PLACE IF YOUR SPECTRUMS NOT IN THE HANDSET. OBVIOUSLY OUR SPECTRUM IS NOT IN HANDSETS TODAY SO WITH INTEROPABILITY, PARTICULARLY IN THE AWS-3 SPECTRUM, AS A MANDATE BY THE FCC THAT GIVES US A LOT MORE FLEXIBILITY THAN WE HAD BEFORE.
Ergen on Sling TV:
WE'RE IN OUR 6TH WEEK AND CERTAINLY OUR RESULTS OUR ENCOURAGING. WE'RE IN A MARKETPLACE THAT UP UNTIL A FEW YEARS AGO EVERYTHING WAS A BIG BUNDLE YOURE PAYING ALMOST 100 DOLLARS/MONTH AS A CONSUMER, YOURE BUYING A LOT OF CHANNELS YOU DON'T WANT AND SO AS A RESULT WE WENT A WHOLE GENERATION THAT HASN'T BECOME PAID TV SUBSCRIBERS. WE HAVE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE CUT THE CORD OR ARE GOING TO OTHER SEGMENTS LIKE YOUTUBE, NETFLIX, SO FORTH. SO WITH OUR PROGRAMMING PARTNERS WE'VE SAID WHY DON'T WE GO GET SOME OF THOSE PEOPLE THAT HAVEN'T BEEN IN THE BUSINESS BEFORE AND IN SOME CASES GIVE CHOICE TO PEOPLE WHO MIGHT BE READY TO CUT THE CORD.
Ergen on Cannibalizing Business:
IT WILL CANNABILIZE OUR BUSINESS THERES NO QUESTION ABOUT IT - ITS AN INNOVATORS DELIMA, DO YOU NOT TAKE NEW TECHNOLOGY AND INVEST IN NEW TECH TO PROTECT YOUR OLD TECHNOLOGY. WE VIEW THAT WE HAVE TO DO THAT. WE HAVE TO REINVENT OURSELF, WE HAVE TO TRANSFORM OUR COMPANY. THE VAST MAJORITY OF OUR CUSTOMERS TODAY ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT IN THE PAID TV UNIVERSE TODAY, SO ITS INCREMENTAL BUSINES TO OUR PROGRAMMING PARTNERS AND BETTER YET IT'S A BETTER ADVERTISING MODEL FOR THEM.
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