Dish Network hurt by churn

Charlie Ergen’s Dish Network saw Q1 earnings tumble 40 per cent on higher costs, while at the same time suffering flat subscriber numbers and higher churn.

Dish added about 654,000 gross pay-TV subscribers, compared with 673,000 additions a year ago. The company ended the first quarter with a customer base of 14.1 million, up fractionally at 0.1% from a year ago. The Pay-TV average-monthly-subscriber turnover rate, or churn, rose to 1.47 per cent per month from 1.35 per cent a year earlier.

Dish’s revenues totalled $3.56 billion for the quarter ending March 31, 2013 compared to $3.58 billion for the corresponding period in 2012. “The decline was driven by reductions in our Blockbuster segment. During these same periods, subscriber-related revenue for our Dish segment increased from $3.22 billion to $3.35 billion, or 4.0 per cent.”

“We have been pleased with the market’s response to our Hopper with Sling roll out, despite headwinds from our first price increase in two years,” said Joseph P. Clayton, Dish president and CEO. “Broadband sales are encouraging, especially given that almost all of our dishNET customers have bundled with our pay-TV service.”

Pay-TV ARPU for the first quarter totalled $78.54, an improvement over the first quarter 2012 pay-TV ARPU of $76.24.

The EchoStar satellite and set-top box company reported total revenue of $795 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2013 compared to $765 million for the corresponding period in 2012.  Net income attributable to EchoStar shareholders was $3.5 million and diluted earnings per share was $0.04 for the quarter ended March 31, 2013, compared with net income attributable to EchoStar shareholders of $126.6 million and diluted earnings per share of $1.45 during the corresponding period in 2012.

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