WASHINGTON — EchoStar Corp. on May 20 agreed to sell its waning broadcast satellite services business to Dish Networks for $800 million, reshaping EchoStar as a company whose primary focus is on internet connectivity.
The sale includes nine satellites — half of EchoStar’s fleet when counting leased payloads — plus employees who handled satellite operations, associated properties, and licensing for an orbital slot.
Roughly 90 percent of EchoStar’s broadcast satellite services revenue comes from Dish contracts. EchoStar’s Satellite Services division, which counts broadcast revenue, shrank nearly 10 percent last year to $358 million, and had few avenues for growth, according to EchoStar. The business faced pressure from lower capacity pricing industrywide, compounded by difficulty attracting additional customers, since many saw Dish as a competitor.
EchoStar President and CEO Mike Dugan said in a statement that selling the business to Dish will “allow EchoStar to focus our efforts on our high growth business of broadband services and other initiatives, while eliminating a negative growth component of our financial performance and the risk associated with providing services to a solitary customer.”
The divestiture follows a “share exchange agreement” EchoStar made with Dish in early 2017, where EchoStar traded its EchoStar ...