Roger Lynch, who heads Dish Network’s virtual MVPD service Sling TV, was the satellite operator’s highest paid executive in 2016, pulling in a relatively modest $4.2 million, according to a proxy statement filed with the SEC Wednesday.
The Sling TV CEO, who got by on a $528,846 base salary, with the rest coming for stock awards and non-equity compensation, beat out Dish Chairman and CEO Charlie Ergen, who took home $1 million in base salary in 2016 and $656,833 in “all other compensation” last year.
Ergen did not receive stock options or nonequity compensation for the third year in a row. Ergen’s salary was $972,308 in 2015.
Ergen was actually the fourth highest compensated Dish executive behind Lynch, COO Erik Carlson ($3.8 million), Warren Schlichting, executive VP of marketing, programming and media sales ($2.8 million) and CFO Steve Swain ($551,284).
While Dish struggled overall in 2016, losing an estimated 1.037 million users on the satellite side, according to Leitchman Research, Sling TV added an estimated 645,000 subscribers. Leichtman pegged its current base to be 1.18 million, far and away the biggest in the fast-emerging vMVPD sector.
With this in mind, the Dish investor relations team probably doesn’t have too much to spin to company shareholders in terms of justifying Lynch’s salary.
After it was reported last week that Charter Chairman and CEO Tom Rutledge took home around $98.5 million in compensation last year, Charter responded with this statement: “In 2016, Charter successfully completed its transactions with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, the result, a Charter roughly four times larger than the legacy company,"
“Charter’s Named Executive Officer compensation, including both a five-year long-term incentive program and new five-year employment agreements, is structured to ensure the retention of the highest caliber executives through the integration process and a strong alignment with the long-term interests of the company’s stockholders," the MSO added. " A significant portion of executive compensation is performance based incentives. The five-year long-term incentive program puts a substantial portion of executive compensation at risk, specifically dependent upon the Company’s stock performance, rewarding executives for performance that enhances long-term shareholder value.”