TEXT - S&P rates DISH Network Corp notes

Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:46pm EST

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Dec 19 - Standard & Poor's Ratings Services today assigned its 'BB-'
issue-level rating and '3' recovery rating to DISH Network Corp.'s proposed $1
billion of senior unsecured notes, being issued by subsidiary DISH DBS Corp. The
'3' recovery rating indicates our expectation for meaningful (50% to 70%)
recovery in the event of a payment default.

The Englewood, Colo.-based satellite TV provider said it intends to use the 
proceeds for general corporate purposes, which we presume will include the 
execution of its wireless strategy that the company has yet to articulate. 
Under the proposed issuance size, pro forma fully adjusted debt to EBITDA 
would rise to about 3.6x as of Sept. 30, 2012. Pro forma cash balances 
increase to about $7.4 billion as of the same date, prior to payments related 
to the company's settlement with Cablevision Systems Corp. and AMC Networks 
Inc. regarding the Voom HD litigation.

Our 'BB-' corporate credit rating and positive rating outlook on the company 
remain unchanged. We note that DISH recently received approval from the FCC to 
deploy a terrestrial wireless network with its 40 MHz of AWS-4 spectrum, 
subject to certain power limitations on its uplink spectrum. Under terms of 
the ruling, DISH will be required to make its wireless service available to at 
least 40% of the population in areas covered by its spectrum within the next 
four years, and 70% within seven years. If DISH is unable to meet the 40% 
threshold in four years, it must meet 70% coverage in six, rather than seven 
years. The company stated it could take at least 30 days to provide greater 
clarity on its wireless strategy following an FCC ruling, which could include 
more detail surrounding additional near-term and long-term funding needs.

In our view, upgrade potential continues to hinge on the company's ability to 
execute on this strategy in such a manner that leverage would remain under 4x. 
This leverage threshold assumes no initial change to our assessment of its 
"fair" business risk profile. Any longer-term revision of our business risk 
profile assessment would depend on our view of the company's longer-term 
business prospects regarding a wireless rollout, especially in light of the 
mature and very competitive industry landscape, as well as our view of the 
competitive threats facing its core video business.


RATING LIST

DISH Network Corp.
 Corporate Credit Rating           BB-/Positive/--


New Rating

DISH DBS Corp.
 $1 Bil. Senior Unsecured Notes    BB-
   Recovery Rating                 3
FILED UNDER: