Dish's Charlie Ergen Figures, If He Has Spectrum, They Will Come

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Dish (DISH) CEO Charlie Ergen may finally have the technology to compete with Comcast (CMCSA), AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ), the country's largest broadband operators.

After spending $13.3 billion (Dish received a $3.3 billion subsidy for letting its small-business designated entities do the bidding) to acquire spectrum from the Federal Communications Commission, Ergen is focusing on a sale of the traditional package of Internet, phone and television, according to a report Friday by The New York Post, citing unnamed sources.

For a company long relegated to selling satellite-TV service, initially to rural areas, the ability to sell Internet, phone and TV would be a huge development. It would also go a long way toward placating investors who had watched Dish lose 15% from a recent high on Feb. 20 to the publication of the New York Post story.

Shares of Englewood, Col.-based Dish were gaining 1.6% to $67.50, further fueled by a Yahoo! Finance report that Ergen is looking to hire a chief marketing officer to take the lead on his triple-play idea. An announcement from Ergen may be weeks away.

At the center of Dish's triple-play promotion would most likely be Sling TV, the company's 22-channel "skinny" television bundle that includes ESPN and is tailored for younger consumers to access on mobile devices. Sling TV, which also offers TNT, CNN and AMC, has emerged as the test case for trimmed-down bundles.

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