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Sling TV Offsets Dish Q4 Subscriber Declines

22 Feb, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Sling TV, Dish Network’s 2-year-old pioneering online TV service, continues to counterbalance satellite-TV subscriber losses. By how much remains unknown. Dish doesn’t disclose specific data, preferring to include Sling TV numbers within its overall pay-TV statistics.

Media reports suggest Sling TV could have from 1 million to 2 million subs.

Dish Feb. 22 announced it added 28,000 net new pay-TV subs in the fourth quarter, ended Dec. 31, 2016, compared with a loss of 12,000 subs during the previous-year period.

Dish activated about 694,000 gross new pay-TV subs in the quarter, compared with about 661,000 gross new pay-TV subs in the year-ago period. Yet, it ended the period with 13.6 million subs, compared with 13.8 million a year earlier. Monthly subscriber churn was 1.83%, compared with 1.71% in 2015. 

In a regulatory filing, Dish said its pay-TV subscriber base is declining due to a variety of factors, including stricter customer acquisition and retention policies for its pay-TV subs, an increased emphasis on acquiring and retaining higher-quality subs, as well as increased competitive pressures, such as aggressive marketing, retention efforts, and bundled discount offers combining broadband, video and/or wireless services and other discounted promotional offers.

Bottom line: Dish reported a $343 million profit for the quarter, compared with a loss of $125 million a year ago. Revenue dipped slightly to $3.72 billion, from $3.78 billion.

About the Author: Erik Gruenwedel

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