DISH ‘Viewers to Voters’ Model Predicts Clinton Victory; Republican House Control
DISH’s Data Science and Media Sales divisions partner to develop algorithm based on TV viewership and historical elections data
Republicans to maintain the House with an estimated 245 out of 435 seats
With so much focus around national polling, we thought it’d be interesting to see if we could find a correlation between how our customers interact with DISH and how they may vote

ENGLEWOOD, Colo.--Nov 7, 2016--(BUSINESS WIRE)--DISH today shared the results of its “Viewers to Voters” predictive model that analyzes the potential outcomes of the 2016 presidential election. Based on anonymized customer viewership data generated from Internet-connected set-top boxes, DISH’s Viewers to Voters modeling predicts that Secretary Hillary Clinton will win the 2016 presidential election.

Further, the Viewers to Voters model forecasts a Republican majority victory in the U.S. House of Representatives, with an estimated 245 out of 435 seats. This data would represent a two-seat gain for Democrats in the 115th Congress. Sufficient historical viewership data was not available to meaningfully predict the state of the Senate.

“With so much focus around national polling, we thought it’d be interesting to see if we could find a correlation between how our customers interact with DISH and how they may vote,” said Warren Schlichting, DISH Executive Vice President of Media Sales, Marketing and Programming. “We recognize that our call on the distribution of seats in the House may be an outlier. Yet when we tested the model against 2014 House elections, we found that we were able to predict the outcome at a 98 percent reliability point.”

Developed in partnership by DISH’s Data Science and Media Sales divisions, Viewers to Voters is the first project completed under the company’s extra-curricular initiative, “Wisdom of Crowds.” DISH’s Wisdom of Crowds program will explore the potential relationships between TV-viewing behaviors and real world actions.

Viewership observations

Viewers to Voters additionally analyzed the relationship between programming watched and political affiliation. The model determined that customers who watched more sports, religious or family-oriented television were more likely to vote Republican. Examples include NFL Football, GEB America’s “Giving Hope, Sharing Life” and PBS’ “Sesame Street.”

In contrast, customers who watched more series/specials, education or music-oriented television were more likely to vote for Democrats. Examples include ABC’s “Scandal,” Discovery’s “MythBusters” and NBC’s “The Voice.”


DISH collects anonymized, aggregated viewership data from millions of set-top boxes across its national footprint. Working with terabytes of viewership data, DISH’s Data Science team took a two-step approach to developing a predictive model for the 2016 presidential election.

The first stage of the model identified the relationship between the shows DISH customers watched in 2014 with the state-by-state outcomes of the 2014 House elections. A wide assortment of variables were analyzed including the types and amounts of programming customers viewed across nine different Nielsen-defined genres (e.g. sports, movies, education and series/specials). The second stage of the model then identified the relationship between House party control and presidential party affiliation dating back to 1932.

DISH took this approach to accommodate its relatively young historical viewership data set that dates back only to 2014, when the last House election occurred. The Data Science team did not draw from any outside polls to reach its conclusions. The group expects to enhance its model by introducing hundreds of additional variables for future projects.

Live election coverage on DISH

DISH has updated several of its innovative viewing features for Election Day so that customers can optimize their live election coverage experience:

  • Available on Hopper 3, DISH will convert Sports Bar Mode into the Election Newsroom. This multi-channel view divides a 4K or HDTV screen into quadrants, each with the ability to display a different program. When accessed from the channel guide, Election Newsroom will auto-populate CBS, CNN, Fox News and MSNBC. Customers may tailor this feature to display their favorite four news networks and can easily toggle among the four channels to determine which will play audio.
  • With the recent addition of the YouTube app on Hopper 3, DISH customers can watch live election coverage on YouTube without changing inputs or devices. Starting at 7 p.m. ET, YouTube will feature coverage from top news channels including NBC News, PBS, MTV, Bloomberg, Telemundo and online news network The Young Turks.

About DISH

DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH), through its subsidiaries, provides approximately 13.593 million pay-TV subscribers, as of June 30, 2016, with the highest-quality programming and technology with the most choices at the best value. DISH offers a high definition line-up with more than 200 national HD channels, the most international channels and award-winning HD and DVR technology. DISH Network Corporation is a Fortune 200 company. Visit

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DISH Network Corp.
Danielle Johnson, 303-723-2191