Need a ton of media outlets writing about your company? The go to PR strategy these days seems to be accepting bitcoins. The resilient digital currency has found a home at the pay-TV provider. Starting July 1, or Dish’s third quarter, customers will be allowed to make payments via bitcoin.
As to why Dish is pushing forward with the PR splash? The company has had its options taken out from under them. Any chance of a merger with AT&T or DirecTV are dead in the water with the AT&T-DirecTV deal. So, the company decided to become the largest accepting bitcoins.
“We always want to deliver choice and convenience for our customers and that includes the method they use to pay their bills,” Dish operating chief Bernie Han said in a release. “Bitcoin is becoming a preferred way for some people to transact, and we want to accommodate those individuals.”
That translates into ‘we are going to get so much PR on this move, so why not?’ And buzz is what the company needs. After seeing an 18% decline in first quarter profit, the company needs a shot in the arm. A stuffed, talking kangaroo isn’t cutting it. Higher expenses and slow subscriber growth has hampered the company.
Coinbase is getting the nod in payment processing, which will see the bitcoins converted immediately to dollars in an transaction. Don’t worry, you can still pay via the normal credit and debit card payments through the Dish Network’s website.
The PR splash with bitcoin follows in the footsteps of Overstock.com, a company that said millions in sales using bitcoins followed their announcement. Bitcoin itself has held up remarkably well despite its security risks and volatility. Stories of manipulation have emerged about the price action, but the currency continues to hold strong.
Does it have the same zealous appeal it had last year? Probably not, but don’t expect that to stop companies searching for free publicity. Today, it is Dish Network’s turn at the podium.