Frontier Extends Dish Reseller Deal To Entire Footprint - Multichannel

Frontier Extends Dish Reseller Deal To Entire Footprint

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Dish Network signed a multiyear renewal of its reseller deal with Frontier Communications, extending the agreement to include 13 states the rural telco acquired from Verizon Communications where it currently offers DirecTV.

Frontier's deal with DirecTV is set to expire in April 2012, after which the telco will market Dish's television services.

Overall, Frontier -- which represents Dish's biggest single reseller partner -- has operations in 27 states and approximately 14,900 employees. As of June 30, the company had 3.25 million residential customers and 326,800 business customers.

Frontier logo

"We're delighted to continue our seven-year partnership with Dish Network to bring the best video entertainment package to our customers," Frontier chairman and CEO Maggie Wilderotter said in a statement. "Dish Network is a leading service provider in rural America -- just like Frontier, while providing excellent high-definition programming choices and award-winning DVR technology."

In 2010, Frontier added 345,901 video customers -- comprising 221,944 DirecTV and 123,957 FiOS TV subs -- as part of acquiring wireline operations from Verizon in 14 states. Frontier currently has about 98,300 FiOS TV subscribers in Oregon, Washington State and Indiana but has since raised rates for FiOS TV customers and has said it does not intend to expand the fiber-optic service.

Frontier offers residential and business customers Dish packages with more than 200 HD channels, audio channels, pay-per-view and video-on-demand movies, bundled with telephone and DSL services.

Dish has reseller deals with TDS and Windstream as well as about a half-dozen smaller telcos. AT&T dropped its Dish deal in early 2009, and CenturyLink (which last year acquired Qwest Communications) ended its agreement with the DBS operator in August 2010 -- with both switching to offering DirecTV services instead.

"We are very excited to strengthen our partnership with Frontier, a company that has expanded aggressively into new territories," Dish CEO Joe Clayton said in a statement. "We are pleased to continue offering Dish Network products and services as part of Frontier's value-driven broadband, telephone and video bundle."

Meanwhile, Charter Communications said Tuesday it was partnering with Dish to market high-speed data and voice products to satellite TV customers in select markets.

Also, earlier this year Dish purchased Liberty Bell, a Denver-based reseller of Qwest's DSL and phone services, giving Dish a triple play in Qwest territories.

Dish had 14.19 million satellite TV customers as of March 31. The satellite operator is scheduled to report second-quarter earnings next Tuesday, Aug. 9.

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