DISH, one of the largest satellite TV providers in the United States, has announced that they plan to start accepting Bitcoin at some time during Q3 this year.
The company offers satellite TV, satellite internet and a variety of other niche services such as portable satellite antenna usage and digital video recording.
In most respects, this marks the largest company accepting Bitcoin to date. They are publicly traded on the NASDAQ and recorded revenues of $13.9 billion 2013, with 14 million subscribers. As of 2011, they employed 34,000. However, like many media networks, they have been hurt by the digital revolution. They recorded a loss of over $1.2 billion in 2012 as digital players like Netflix gained prominence.
The company is no stranger to doing things out of the box. The aforementioned digital video recording service allowed customers to enjoy certain programming without commercials, which set off a string of lawsuits from major networks.
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Said Bernie Han, DISH CEO and COO:
“We always want to deliver choice and convenience for our customers and that includes the method they use to pay their bills…Bitcoin is becoming a preferred way for some people to transact and we want to accommodate those individuals.”
Coinbase will be doing the integration, allowing DISH to retain payments in dollars. Said Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam:
“We’re excited to support DISH and their current and new subscribers for their bitcoin transactions…This is a large step forward in the growing momentum of customers paying companies in bitcoin for things we do every day, like watching premium TV.”