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CEA Names Dish CEO ‘Digital Patriot’

18 Apr, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Joseph Clayton

Dish Network CEO Joseph Clayton has been named a “Digital Patriot” by the Consumer Electronics Association, which will honor the executive among others April 18 at the ninth annual Digital Patriots Dinner in Washington, D.C.

Clayton, who once was chairman of the CEA, has spent 40 years in the CE, telco and satellite communication industries. Clayton became CEO of Dish in 2011.

The former Sirius Satellite Radio chief executive used the opportunity to voice support for Dish’s $25.5 billion merger offer for Sprint Nextel. Clayton said combining the satellite and telecommunications companies would enable more efficient distribution of wireless voice, video and data to metropolitan and rural areas.

“We would have the ability to reach consumers wherever they go with services that are easy to understand, affordable and available,” Clayton said in a statement.

The CEO said Dish’s offer underscores the company’s innovative approach to evolving technologies and changing consumer habits.

He said litigation filed by broadcasters against Dish’s Hopper DVR and remote content access recalled a past when the videocassette recorder was opposed by programmers, broadcasters and studios — only to later become a “cash cow” as consumers embraced home video.

“So why would incumbent broadcasting, cable and content companies oppose rather than embrace innovation? Why have they forsaken improvements to the consumer experience? Why have they given up on future profit opportunities?” Clayton said. “It’s because innovation upsets the status quo and is very difficult. There is a tremendous amount of innovation, risk and worry that comes from actually having to deliver better products. It’s really hard work! It’s much easier to call the other guy’s stuff ‘illegal’ and then knock off early.”

Dish owns and operates Blockbuster LLC.

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