Dish Loses 196K Net Subs in Q2

Gross subscriber additions fall, revenue down 5.7%
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Dish Network lost about 196,000 net new subscribers in the second quarter, an improvement over the prior year, but a continued indication of the weakness in the pay TV sector as consumers switch their loyalties to non-traditional delivery methods.

The losses were better than the 281,000 net new customers Dish lost in the prior year. Gross additions declined to 444,000 in the period, behind the 527,000 gross additions in Q2 2016. Dish includes new subscribers from its over-the-top Sling TV service in its overall subscriber numbers, but even those were not enough to halt declines.

Dish does not separately break out Sling TV subscriber numbers, but in a research note MoffettNathanson principal and senior analyst Craig Moffett esitmated the OTT service added about 89,000 new subscribers in the period, compared to 49,000 in the previous year.

Dish finished the period with 13.332 million subscribers, compared to 13,593 million at the end of the second quarter last year. Overall revenue was down 5.7% to $3.64 billion in the period, compared to $3.86 billion in the prior year. Net income was $40 million, compared to $424 million in the prior year. Dish blamed some of that decline on litigation expenses in the quarter, which were about $280 million.