Cord-Cutting Accelerates: Dish Network Loses Twice as Many Subscribers as Expected in Q1

AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File

Dish Network suffered a steep decline in pay subscribers in its first fiscal quarter, the satellite TV company revealed Monday.

Some 143,000 net subscribers cancelled their service in the fourth quarter, Dish reported in its first-quarter earnings reports. That’s up from 23,000 a year earlier, and that number was way ahead of an expected subscriber loss of 72,000, Reuters reports.

The Colorado company’s latest drop in subscribers is part of a larger trend that sees more consumers choose personalized internet streaming bundles over traditional cable and satellite packages.

To that end, the telecom company did report the addition of new customers to its Sling TV streaming service, but did not publish specific numbers. The Sling TV subscriber increases, however, have not been enough to recover the loss of traditional satellite and TV consumers.

According to one estimate from Leichtman Research, Dish lost over 1 million satellite customers while adding 645,000 subscribers to its Sling service in 2016.

Quarterly cash earnings for Dish were also down. The company brought in $376 million, a market decline from $400 million a year ago.

Dish also suffered a loss of approximately 25,000 net broadband subscribers in the first quarter.

American’s propensity for cord-cutting has hit even the most established media players in recent weeks. Last week, Disney-owned ESPN began the process of laying off an estimated 100 staffers and employees.


Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter @jeromeehudson