DISH Network, the US pay-TV broadcaster, has reported revenue totaling $3.22 billion for the quarter ending March 31st 2020, compared to $3.19 billion (€2.9bn) for the corresponding period in 2019.
Net income attributable to DISH Network totaled $73 million for the first quarter 2020, compared to $340 million from the year-ago quarter. Net income attributable to DISH Network in the quarter was impacted by $356 million of impairments related to the narrowband IoT network deployment and the D1 and T1 satellites.
During the quarter, the Covid-19 pandemic caused severe disruption in certain commercial segments served by DISH, including the hospitality and airline industries. In an effort to avoid charging commercial customers for services that were no longer being viewed by their customers, DISH paused service or provided temporary rate relief for certain of those commercial accounts. Those commercial accounts, including accounts DISH expects to disconnect because of Covid-19 disruption, represent approximately 250,000 subscribers, which DISH removed from its ending pay-TV subscriber count as of March 31st 2020. For certain commercial accounts DISH divides its total revenue for these commercial accounts by $34.99, and includes the resulting number in its pay-TV subscriber count.
DISH said it does not expect to incur significant expenses from the reactivation of any returning commercial accounts. While returning accounts will be added to future ending subscriber counts, they will not be counted as gross new subscriber additions in the period of their return.
The company closed the first quarter with 11.32 million Pay-TV subscribers, including 9.01 million DISH TV subscribers and 2.31 million Sling TV subscribers.
Other metrics including gross new pay-TV subscriber activations, net pay-TV subscriber additions/losses and pay-TV churn rate for the period ending March 31sy 2020 were not adjusted for the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Net pay-TV subscribers decreased by approximately 413,000 in the first quarter, compared to a net decrease of 259,000 in the year-ago quarter.