DISH Texas city was renamed to receive free Dish Satellite service

DISH is a town in Denton County, Texas, United States. The town had a population of 201 at the 2010 census. This community, established in June 2000, was originally named Clark. In November 2005, the community accepted an offer to rename itself “DISH” (all capital letters) as part of a commercial agreement with a satellite television company.

The municipality was previously named after its founder, Landis Clark, who incorporated it in June 2000 and served as its first mayor. Clark was beaten by one vote in the spring 2005 election by Bill Merritt.

In exchange for renaming the town, all residents of the town have received free basic television service for ten years and a free DVR from Dish Network. There was no formal opposition to renaming Clark; twelve citizens attended the council meeting to support the measure.

In the January 10, 2006, episode of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, correspondent Ed Helms produced a news segment about DISH.

Former mayor Calvin Tillman, an environmental activist, said that his two sons began experiencing nose bleeds caused by fracking of the Barnett Shale. Mayor Tillman used town funds for an air quality study by Wolf Eagle Environmental, formerly known as Wolf Eagle Environmental Engineers & Consultants – but was forced to change its name upon it becoming public that the organization did not employ a licensed professional engineer on staff. Wolf Eagle found elevated concentrations of some volatile organic compounds in the air near a large natural gas compressor station

Tillman moved out of DISH to get away from what he considered the unsafe air. The Tillmans paid $139,000 for their house on 2.86 acres in 2003, according to Denton Central Appraisal District records, and an unknown amount for an adjoining 3.21 acres in 2005. The appraisal district valued the two properties in 2010 at $136,675. The house has been sold.


In May 2010, The Texas Department of State Health Services released its air quality results for DISH, including tests of blood and urine samples from 28 DISH residents that were tested for volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The agency concluded that: “The information obtained from this investigation did not indicate that community-wide exposures from gas wells or compressor stations were occurring in the sample population. This conclusion was based on the pattern of VOC values found in the samples. Other sources of exposure such as cigarette smoking, the presence of disinfectant by-products in drinking water, and consumer or occupational/hobby related products could explain many of the findings.”

The state installed an air quality monitoring station at DISH, which show that, as of 2012, air pollutants are within safe levels. Nevertheless, the current mayor believes that pollutant levels are unacceptably high.

The 2010 documentary film Gasland included a segment on the DISH, Texas case.