For the last week or so we’ve been fascinated by the possibility that Verizon will create a streaming video business. But don’t forget Dish Network, which also owns Blockbuster video. “If Verizon can do it, why can’t we?” Dish Network CEO Joseph Clayton asks Bloomberg. He added that “there’s not a lot of infrastructure you have to put in place for this. The expense is the programming.” Dish is already talking to TV networks about potential licensing deals. Dish also wants to amass wireless spectrum so it can do an end-run around cable and phone company broadband services. Clayton notes that Dish has more opportunities now than it did just a few weeks ago to forge partnerships that might give it better access to the airwaves — and offer a full range of video, voice, and data services.
T-Mobile is a potential ally if its merger with AT&T collapses following Justice Department and FCC attacks on the $39B deal. That appears more likely today: Justice put its antitrust case against the companies on hold while AT&T says it will decide “whether and how to revise our current transaction to achieve the necessary regulatory approvals.” Meanwhile, Sprint and wireless broadband provider Clearwire risk being left in the cold now that cable companies have said that they’ll cross-sell Verizon Wireless’ service, and abandon plans to find a partner who’d help them offer a competing mobile service. “We like our hand,” Clayton said. “We just don’t know what all the cards are yet.” Any deal involving wireless spectrum would need FCC approval.
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