The year was 1980. Cable TV was riding the crest of popularity in the towns and cities. But the areas having a difficult topographical terrain felt isolated. The cables and wires could not be laid down because of obvious reasons. There was a need for TV entertainment, but satellite TV was not in demand. The price tags were huge and the dishes were humongous. There was a demand for satellite dishes in difficult areas like Colorado.
Charles Ergen was just evicted from Las Vegas casinos on allegations of fraud. It was reported that Charles Ergen was counting blackjack cards and he was supported by his best pal, Jim DeFranco. When they were asked to leave, they were on their own, with Ergen's would-be wife Cantey. They saw a truck carrying monstrous satellite dishes over to Colorado. The risk-takers in these youngsters instantly saw their future in those satellite dishes. It didn't take them long to decide that they would be working in the satellite TV sector.
But when you're on your own and in the streets, you need to keep things practical. Dreams would only take you so far as your planning makes it possible. Charles Ergen and Cantey put in $60,000 to float their own company along with DeFranco. The company was named EchoStar. They bought two satellite dishes to sell in Colorado. While they were transporting the dishes to Colorado for a demonstration, a powerful gust of wind blew off one of the dishes.
But that didn't stop the young entrepreneurs from moving on. They completed their demonstration projects in the area and picked up orders to deliver satellite TV dishes and services to this geographically isolated area. It was not easy at first for Charles Ergen. He did everything he could to put investments together. While he didn't commit any scams and frauds to collect money, he did make his employees work harder than usual. He pinched money from impossible quarters to build up his capital.
Charles Ergen always felt that his company EchoStar and now Dish Network Inc. would be available to anyone with affordable means to purchase satellite TV dishes and offers. Ergen's crusade with the price tags lasted his entire life. Like he didn't want to charge his customers more than was extremely necessary, he was also against paying hefty amounts to channels in demand. He evicted several popular channels from his Dish Network bouquet because they refused to toe the line when it came to prices. Ergen's ways got him many enemies. They were much interested in propagating wrong notions about his business ethics and ways of working.
Charles Ergen brushed those rumors aside and interacted directly with his subscribers through TV. He has his own show called 'Charlie Chat'. He couldn't forgive the channels from being part of his satellite TV network. Ergen is reported to have asked the viewers of Dish Network to call up those channels and enquire why they are not part of Dish Network Inc! Such erratic methods has prompted Charles Ergen to be counted among the most dynamic businessmen in America today.
Charles Ergen is popular name in the field of Satellite TV. He made it from a blackjack player to the owner of Dish Network Inc.