Prior to joining Dish, Clayton helped launch its No. 1 sat-TV competitor, DirecTV and ran Sirius satellite radio.
Over the summer, Dish moved the national headquarters of Blockbuster from Texas to Dish’s corporate campus near Denver as it merged the former movie-rental giant’s brand into Dish.
Q: There’s still a lingering perception that Dish’s wireless play is just speculation to profit from selling spectrum.
Don’t tell Charlie that. And I didn’t come out of retirement to say grace over a declining paid-TV business and to just cut costs and make things as efficient as possible. I came for the ride, the growth and the excitement.
We’re going to change the way America communicates and entertains itself. And it won’t just be about wireless. It’s about satellite broadband for rural America, too.
There’s a whole segment of the population — 18 to 28, or maybe 18 to 35 — they’re not going to pay $100 per month, they’re not going to watch another 60-inch flat-panel display, and they’re not going to watch 250 channels. What they may do is pay $10 or $20 a month, and may watch 20 channels — maybe it’s 30, I don’t know what the number is yet — but they’re certainly going to watch on their PCs, tablets and mobile phones.
What we haven’t done, as an industry, is think about how to capture that market in a realistic way today.
Q: Is there a big merger in Dish’s near future?
A: Who knows? I don’t know. The wireless landscape has changed so much in just 60 days. There’ll be additional changes of that magnitude as we move forward. We need a [wireless industry] partner, that much we know. Who it is remains to be seen.
It could be one of the big incumbents. AT&T needs spectrum. Verizon [Wireless] is in pretty good shape now with its cable spectrum. T-Mobile and MetroPCS still need additional spectrum. Sprint, maybe not so. But spectrum’s like oil, gold or water — you can’t get enough of it. I could see a half-dozen different options that could play out.