Hurricane Maria impacts DISH Network Q3

US pay-TV operator DISH Network has reported revenue totaling $3.58 billion (€3.08bn) for the quarter ending September 30th 2017, compared to $3.77 billion for the corresponding period in 2016. Subscriber-related revenue for the quarter totaled $3.55 billion, compared to $3.73 billion in subscriber-related revenue for the year-ago period.

Net income attributable to DISH Network totaled $297 million for the third quarter 2017, compared to net income of $318 million from the year-ago quarter.

DISH includes all of its subscribers too OTT service Sling TV in its total pay-TV metrics, including in the pay-TV subscriber, Pay-TV ARPU and Pay-TV churn rate numbers set forth below.

During September 2017, Hurricane Maria caused extraordinary damage in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, resulting in a widespread loss of power and infrastructure. Given the devastation and loss of power, substantially all customers in those areas were unable to receive DISH service as of September 30th. In an effort to ensure customers would not be charged for services they were unable to receive, DISH proactively paused service for those customers.

Accordingly, DISH removed approximately 145,000 subscribers, representing all of its subscribers in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, from its ending pay-TV subscriber count as of September 30th. The company closed the third quarter with 13.203 million pay-TV subscribers compared to 13.643 million pay-TV subscribers at the end of third quarter 2016. Other metrics including gross new pay-TV subscriber activations, net pay-TV subscriber additions/losses and Pay-TV churn rate for the period ended September 30th were not adjusted for the impact of Hurricane Maria.

In the third quarter, DISH activated approximately 638,000 gross new pay-TV subscribers, compared to approximately 736,000 gross new pay-TV subscribers in the prior year’s third quarter. In the 50 states, net pay-TV subscribers grew approximately 16,000 in the third quarter.

When accounting for the one-time removal of 145,000 subscribers in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands and for 16,000 net pay-TV subscriber additions in the 50 states, pay-TV subscribers declined approximately 129,000 in the third quarter.

Pay-TV subscriber churn rate was 1.57 per cent versus 2.11 per cent for third quarter 2016.

Pay-TV ARPU for the third quarter totalled $87.23, compared to the year-ago period’s pay-TV ARPU of $89.44.

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