Q3 Net Sub Losses Nearly Double at Dish

Sheds 23K Net Customers, Compared to 12K Last Year
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Dish Network’s net subscriber losses nearly doubled to 23,000 in the third quarter, as gains from its over-the-top service Sling TV weren’t enough to offset declines at its core subscription TV business.

Dish ended the quarter with 13.91 million pay TV subscribers in the period. The satellite TV giant has been including subscriber numbers from Sling TV in its overall customer tally since the second quarter.

Analyst estimates for actual subscriber losses were across the board. Evercore ISI Group media analysts VIjay Jayant and David Joyce estimated in a note to clients that Sling TV added about 92,000 subscribers in the period while the satellite TV business shed 115,000 net customers. MoffettNathanson principal and senior analyst Craig Moffett esimated Sling TV added 24,000 new customers while Dish lost 47,000 net subscribers.     

Dish said it activated 751,000 gross new pay TV subscribers in Q3, compared to 691,000 in the same period last year. The 23,000 net subscriber losses compare to a loss of 12,000 net customers in the prior year.

Revenue for the period was $3.73 billion, compared to $3.68 billion for the corresponding period in 2014. Subscriber-related revenue increased to $3.7 billion from $3.65 billion in the year-ago period.  Net income was $196 million (42 cents per share) compared to $146 million (31 cents per share) in the prior year.

Dish added about 13,000 net broadband subscribers in the third quarter, bringing its broadband subscriber base to 608,000.

Dish is scheduled to hold a conference call with analysts to discuss results at noon today.