Dish Nets: Revs Flat, Subscribers Drop

by , Aug 8, 2012, 12:17 PM
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Days after DirecTV posted its first net loss of subscribers, Dish Network slid a bit in the second quarter of 2012. But not nearly as much as it did a year ago -- all thanks to some heavy marketing for its new Hopper set-top box.

Dish Network had a net loss of 10,000 subscribers -- a significant improvement over its 135,000 fall a year ago at the end of the Q2 2011. Recently, DirecTV said it had a net loss of 52,000 for the second quarter.

Dish's efforts came from a renewed effort to gain customers. Subscriber acquisition advertising rose 75% in the second quarter to $118 million, much of this due to its new -- and controversial -- Hopper set-top box that can record a week's worth of prime-time programming of the four major broadcast networks.

In a press release, the company warned: "Our gross new subscriber activations continue to be negatively impacted by increased competitive pressures, including aggressive marketing and discounted promotional offers.  In addition, telecommunications companies continue to grow their customer bases."

Dish, which has 14.1 million subscribers -- the second-largest satellite TV provider -- witnessed its net income drop 33% to $226 million. Revenue was largely unchanged, falling 0.6% to $3.6 billion. This missed Wall Street estimates by around $90 million.

Dish took in a bit more revenue per subscriber $78.11, a 5-cent gain from a year earlier. The company said its protracted contract dispute and blackout of AMC Network, home of "Breaking Bad" and "Mad Men," had no material effect on its financial results. In addition, it said it could not predict future consequences to drop the network.

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