Tags: dish | Satellite-TV | Subscribers | Programming

Dish Drops 134,000 Satellite-TV Subscribers in Q1, Blaming Programming Disputes

Monday, 11 May 2015 07:16 AM

Dish Network dropped a net 134,000 satellite-TV customers in the first three months of 2015 -- with the satcaster blaming ongoing programming spats for the sizable loss.

The company, in a regulatory filing Monday, cited competition for the subscriber loss as well as on "multiple programming interruptions and threatened programming interruptions" with Turner Broadcasting, 21st Century Fox and certain local TV stations. In particular, Dish said it suffered lower activations and higher cancellations because of the loss of Fox News Channel and other entertainment networks starting in the fourth quarter 2014 and continuing into Q1. Fox News returned to the Dish lineup in mid-January.

Meanwhile, the extent to which Sling TV -- the company's new lower-priced package of Internet channels -- potentially cannibalized Dish's core pay-TV biz was not immediately clear. Dish did not disclose the number of Sling TV customers it signed up in the period; the company may shed more light on the results on its earnings call with analysts Monday.

The company reported revenue of $3.7 billion for the quarter ended March 31, up from $3.6 billion in the year-ago period. Net income of $351 million nearly doubled for the most recent quarter, compared with $176 million in Q1 2014.

Dish ended closed the first quarter with 13.844 million pay-TV subscribers, down 253,000 from 14.097 million at the end of Q1 2014. In February, the company launched Sling TV, a broadband-delivered bundle starting at $20 that now includes about 20 channels, but does not count those subs in its pay-TV tally.

By comparison, rival satcaster DirecTV added a net 60,000 new subscribers in Q1 -- a historically weak period for the pay-TV sector. DirecTV said it had its lowest first-quarter churn rate in six years.

Meanwhile, Dish added about 14,000 net broadband-satellite subscribers in the first quarter, bringing its broadband subscriber base to approximately 591,000. That's compared with net adds of 53,000 broadband subs in the first quarter of 2014.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

 
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Dish Network dropped a net 134,000 satellite-TV customers in the first three months of 2015 -- with the satcaster blaming ongoing programming spats for the sizable loss.
dish, Satellite-TV, Subscribers, Programming
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2015-16-11
Monday, 11 May 2015 07:16 AM
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