Dish Network released its quarterly earnings Monday, and announced that it lost another 67,000 net pay-TV subscribers in the second quarter. The company did, however, gain subscribers to its Sling TV vMVPD service.
As of the end of the quarter, Dish had 10.99 million Pay-TV subscribers, including 8.55 million DISH TV subscribers and 2.44 million SLING TV subscribers, the company said in its earnings press release.
The loss of 67,000 was fewer than the 96,000 pay-TV subscribers the company lost in the second quarter of 2020, which was at the height of the pandemic.
The company posted net income of $671 million, compared to $452 million in the second quarter of 2020.
“We face intense and increasing competition from providers of video, broadband and/or wireless services, which may require us to further increase subscriber acquisition and retention spending or accept lower subscriber activations and higher subscriber churn,” Dish said in its 10K filing. “Changing consumer behavior and new technologies in our Pay-TV business may reduce our subscriber activations and may cause our subscribers to purchase fewer services from us or to cancel our services altogether, resulting in less revenue to us… Our pay-TV competitors may be able to leverage their relationships with programmers to reduce their programming costs and/or offer exclusive content that will place them at a competitive advantage to us.”
Also Monday, Sinclair Broadcast Group announced that Dish Network is expected to drop 112 TV stations, due to a carriage dispute.
Dish Network has been pivoting towards wireless, having acquired Boost Mobile as a result of the T-Mobile/Sprint merger.
“Through this agreement, DISH will provide current and future customers of its retail wireless brands, including Boost Mobile, Ting Mobile and Republic Wireless, access to best-in-class coverage and connectivity on AT&T’s wireless network, in addition to the new DISH 5G network,” the announcement of the deal from Dish said. “The agreement accelerates DISH’s expansion of retail wireless distribution to rural markets where DISH provides satellite TV services. AT&T is also providing transport and roaming services as part of the agreement, to support DISH’s 5G network.”
The combination of AT&T and Dish served to revive rumors that Dish and DirecTV could merge-a combination that Dish’s chairman has repeatedly called “inevitable.” The AT&T/Dish deal came at around the same time that AT&T finished its spinoff of DirecTV into an independent company, although AT&T will still own a majority interest in that company.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.