Dish Network Corp reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday as it lost more pay-TV subscribers due to stiff competition from online video services.
According to Dish’s latest earnings report, the company lost 116,000 pay-TV subscribers last quarter — including additions to Sling TV’s overall subscriber base. That said, the 116,000 lost was actually less than the 142,000 Wall Street analysts expected, and was arguably slightly better than the 281,000 subscribers Dish lost last quarter.
While many of the departures are thanks to cord cutters fleeing elsewhere and an increase in streaming competitors, Dish tried to claim that stricter customer-acquisition policies and an increased focus on acquiring “higher-quality subscribers” was to blame for the decline.
Dish also lost a net 20,000 satellite broadband subscribers during the third quarter, reducing the company’s overall broadband subscriber base to approximately 593,000. That said, Dish still managed to see a profit of $307.4 million, up from $196.5 million one year ago. That’s because most of its customers are paying more for TV than ever, the average Dish customer now paying $89.44 — up from $86.33 the quarter before.
Including both Sling TV and traditional satellite TV subscribers, Dish now lays claim to 13.6 million pay-TV subscribers, down from the 13.9 million from the same quarter last year. And Sling’s at least trying to adapt to cord cutting by offering a standalone streaming alternative, something most incumbent pay TV providers avoid for fear of cannibalizing more lucrative legacy TV users.