Dish Network Suffers Q4 Pay TV Subscriber Slowdown

Dish Network had a rough stock market day on Thursday -- pegged to a surprise net loss in its most recent quarterly financial earnings results.

For Dish, its latest quarter witnessed a net loss of $125.3 million versus net income of $109.9 million in the same quarter a year ago. Analysts were expecting lower net income -- but not a net loss.

Dish recorded an FCC auction expense of $516 million and an asset-impairment charge of $123 million in the period. Revenue for the quarter was up nearly 3% to $3.8 billion.

The satellite multichannel TV provider stock closed down a sharp 6.5% to $43.17 on Thursday. A year ago, Dish’s stock price was $77.56.

Pay-TV subscribers declined about 81,000 in 2015 compared to a loss of approximately 79,000 in 2014. Dish Network ended 2015 with approximately 13.897 million compared with about 13.978 million at the end of 2014.

But analysts note that Dish Network subscriber results includes business from its year-old digitally delivered over-the-top TV service, Sling TV.

Sling TV now has 600,000 subscribers, according to reports. After its initial start up in January 2015, Dish announced that Sling TV had 169,000 in March of that year.

The average Dish home paid $86.79 during 2015 versus $83.77 in 2014. Dish Network had 623,000 broadband subscribers in comparison with 577,000 at end-2014.

MoffettNathanson Research estimates during the fourth quarter, Dish Network lost 141,000 for its traditional satellite TV business and gained 129,000 for Sling TV.


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