Dish passing on annual CES presentation

Dish Network satellite dishes on rooftop
With Sling TV growing its user base, and Dish’s traditional satellite business in full retreat, the decision to shelve this year’s presentation might boil down to the operator simply not having any new splashy tech announcements to make. Image: Dish Network

Dish Network has traditionally made CES in Las Vegas the place where it’s made its biggest announcements. But the satellite TV operator will not be conducting its annual press conference when CES 2017 convenes in Las Vegas in two weeks, a company rep told FierceCable. 

When asked why the event was being shelved this year, a Dish rep said, "In recent years, CES has been great for us but our timing is on a bit of a different cycle. Hope to see you there!"

The Dish presentation has been one of the mega-show’s highlights in recent years, and the place where the operator has made some of pay-TV’s biggest announcements. In 2012, for example, Dish introduced the Hopper, signaling what would be perhaps the last generation of advanced DVR set-tops. 

In 2015, the operator debuted Sling TV, which was the first major virtual pay-TV service. 

With Sling TV growing its user base, and Dish’s traditional satellite business in full retreat, the decision to shelve this year’s presentation might boil down to the operator simply not having any new splashy tech announcements to make.

RELATED: Dish loses another 116K subscribers in Q3

Sling TV has been active on the announcements front of late, trying to stay relevant as AT&T has launched DirecTV Now, a virtual MVPD product that’s in direct competition.

Earlier this month, Sling TV revealed that it’s testing a cloud DVR with select customers who use Roku boxes to access the service. This is the kind of significant news that might have been held back for the CES presser in previous years.

Dish reported the loss of 116,000 subscribers in the third quarter, with analysts speculating that the attrition to its traditional satellite service was much steeper after Sling TV’s growth was factored in.