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Dish Loses 259,000 Subscribers in First Quarter

Nick Dimengo

Dish Network reported losses of 259,000 net TV subscribers in the first quarter, along with losing 266,000 traditional satellite TV customers due to recent carriage disputes with HBO and Univision. The company also reported adding only 7,000 Sling TV customers during the same time period. By comparison, during the first quarter of 2018, Dish Network had lost 185,000 traditional customers.

According to the filings, Dish Network said that the “increase in net pay TV subscriber losses during the three months ended March 31, 2019 resulted from fewer net Sling TV subscriber additions and higher net Dish TV subscriber losses. Our net pay TV subscriber losses … were negatively impacted by Univision and AT&T’s removal of certain of their channels from our Dish TV and Sling TV programming lineup.”

The network also added that weaker net Sling TV subscriber growth “is primarily related to increased competition, including competition from other OTT service providers, and the impact from Univision and AT&T’s removal of certain of their channels from our programming lineup.” In March, Dish Network and Univision agreed on a long-term deal, but the new agreement did not include Sling TV.

Dish Network ended the month of March with more than 12.06 million subscribers, including nearly 9.64 million Dish subscribers — which was down from 9.90 million as of the end of 2018, and more than 2.42 million Sling subscribers, which was up slightly. Dish had lost 334,000 net subscribers in the fourth quarter after dropping 341,000 in the third. In the first quarter of 2018, Dish had lost 94,000 net pay TV subscribers.