You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Dish Loses 143,000 TV Customers in Q1 as Revenue, Earnings Drop

Charlie Ergen’s Dish Network posted declines in earnings and revenue for the first three months of 2017, as the No. 2 satcaster saw more subscribers cancel their service than expected.

In the first quarter, Dish’s net pay-TV subscribers — which include the Sling TV over-the-top service — dropped by 143,000 in the first quarter, compared to a decline of 23,000 in Q1 of 2016. Dish’s core satellite TV numbers likely bore the brunt of the losses, as the Sling TV “skinny bundles” have been gaining traction with lower price points. Wall Street analysts had projected Dish would lose a net 72,000 subscribers in Q1, according to FactSet.

Revenue of $3.68 billion for the quarter ended March 31 was down 3.9% year over year, while earnings of 76 cents per share dropped by 6% (versus EPS of 86 cents in the year-ago quarter). Analysts had expected earnings of 69 cents per share on revenue of $3.78 billion, per Thomson Reuters.

The company ended March with 13.528 million pay-TV subs, down 2.5% compared to 13.874 million a year earlier. The decline in Q1 comes after Dish added a net 28,000 pay-TV subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2016, the first time in more than two years it had shown overall sub growth in the TV segment.

Contributing to Dish’s Q1 subscriber losses: an extended blackout of Hearst Television’s 31 local stations that began in early March, before the parties resolved the standoff last week.

According to estimates by MoffettNathanson’s Craig Moffett, Dish in the first quarter of 2017 lost 320,000 satellite TV customers, with the size of its traditional base down 9.1% year over year. That means the company gained 177,000 Sling TV subs, to stand at 1.36 million at the end of March, according to the analyst.

Dish’s pay-TV average revenue per customer for the first quarter was $86.55 per month, down from $87.94 a year earlier. Pay-TV subscriber churn rate was 1.69% versus 1.63% for first quarter 2016.

Separately, in the FCC’s spectrum auction of local TV broadcast airwaves that closed last month, Dish bought more spectrum than expected — $6.2 billion, according to ParkerB.com wireless.

Also during Q1, Dish lost 25,000 net satellite broadband subscribers to stand at about 555,000 broadband subs at the end of the period.

The company noted that during the first quarter it completed a transaction with sister company EchoStar that transferred certain EchoStar assets and operations to Dish in exchange for Dish’s 80% interest in the Hughes Retail Group that was held in the form of a tracking stock.

More Digital

  • Verizon New Logo

    Verizon Media Laying Off 800 Employees, or 7% of Staff in AOL and Yahoo Group

    Verizon is cutting 7% of the employees in its media group, or around 800 staffers in the division that combined AOL and Yahoo. “This week, we will make changes that will impact around 7% of our global workforce across the organization, as well as certain brands and products,” Verizon Media Group CEO Guru Gowrappan wrote in [...]

  • cheddar

    Cheddar Now on All U.S. OTT Streaming Services, Preps Primetime Programming Block

    Video-news startup Cheddar is launching its live-streaming news networks on Sony’s PlayStation Vue, making it the first content provider to span all over-the-top subscription services in the U.S. The company, founded in 2016, operates two networks — the newly rebranded Cheddar Business, positioned as a CNBC-style financial and business network for millennials, and Cheddar News, [...]

  • Avi Saxena - Discovery

    Discovery Hires Amazon's Avi Saxena as CTO of Direct-to-Consumer Unit, Will Open Seattle Office

    Discovery hired Avi Saxena, former VP of technology for Amazon Marketplace, as chief technology officer of direct-to-consumer. Saxena reports to the guy who was his boss at Amazon: Peter Faricy, who was appointed CEO of Discovery’s Global Direct-to-Consumer division in August 2018 and who headed up the Amazon Marketplace third-party seller business. In the newly created [...]

  • Spaces Terminatro VR Experience Goes Live

    Comcast-Backed Spaces Launches San Jose Location With 'Terminator' VR Experience

    Comcast-backed virtual reality startup Spaces is getting ready to open its second California location in San Jose next month: The company has teamed up with Cinemark to open a new VR center at the Century 20 Oakridge and XD theatre in San Jose on February 8. The new Cinemark Spaces center will open with “Fight for [...]

  • Sean Hannity Reveals Broadband Plans for

    Sean Hannity Reveals His Plans for Fox News Streaming Service (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sean Hannity sometimes tells younger colleagues at Fox News Channel that he is “the bridge between two generations of Fox” because he has been part of its primetime lineup since 1996. Now he may serve a similar purpose for a third. Fox News will next week bring Hannity to the world of video-streaming, launching “Hannity [...]

  • Crackle - To Win it All

    Sony Crackle Nabs 'Rainbow Six Siege' Esports Documentary Streaming Rights

    Sony Crackle has secured exclusive streaming rights to Ubisoft’s esports documentary “To Win it All: The Road to The Six Invitational,” following three pro players of “Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege” shooter as they head to the title’s biggest tournament of the year. The free streaming network is slated to bow the documentary Friday, Jan. [...]

  • Hulu With Live TV Full Channel

    Hulu Hikes Price of Live-TV Bundle to $45 Monthly, Drops VOD Plan With Ads to $6

    Hulu wants to drive more customers to its ad-supported streaming package — lowering the official price from $7.99 to $5.99 per month — while it’s trying to turn a profit on the live-TV bundle with a price hike. Starting next month, Hulu With Live TV will increase by $5 per month, rising from $39.99 to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content