Dish loses 79K video subscribers, adds 48K Sling TV subscribers

Dish Network’s second-quarter results were marked by a significant decrease in satellite subscriber losses and continued (albeit slow) growth at Sling TV.

Dish lost 79,000 satellite subscribers and added 48,000 Sling TV subscribers, equaling a net pay TV subscriber loss of approximately 31,000 subscribers in the second quarter. That’s compared to 151,000 net losses in the second quarter of 2018 and 334,000 net losses in the previous quarter.

The company closed the second quarter with 12.03 million total pay TV subscribers, including 9.56 million Dish TV subscribers and 2.47 million Sling TV subscribers.

Despite the slower rate of subscriber attrition, Dish’s revenues still declined significantly. The company reported revenue totaling $3.21 billion for its second quarter, down from $3.46 billion one year ago. In a filing with the SEC, Dish blamed the decrease on its dwindling satellite subscriber base.

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“Our subscriber-related revenue has been declining due to, among other things, the continuing decline in our Dish TV subscriber base. We expect this trend to continue,” Dish wrote.

Net income attributable to Dish Network totaled $317 million for the quarter, down from $439 million in the year-ago quarter.

While Dish didn’t post blockbuster subscriber growth figures, it did considerably better than DirecTV and DirecTV Now. AT&T’s satellite operator contributed a net loss of 778,000 traditional video subscribers, and DirecTV Now posted a net loss of 168,000 subscribers.

Dish likely continues to suffer from not being able to sell HBO and Cinemax directly to its subscribers. The company and AT&T have been at an impasse since October 2018, and Dish said it has been unable to negotiate the terms and conditions of a new programming carriage contract.

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