Dish Network’s Sling TV -- one of the largest U.S. digital/virtual pay TV services -- lost 281,000 subscribers in the first quarter of this year versus a 7,000 gain a year ago. Sling TV now has 2.31 million subscribers.
The company says: “The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the economic environment generally, and on us specifically, have adversely impacted our business.”
Dish also points to increased competition from virtual pay TV providers, subscription on-demand services, and delays/cancellations of TV sporting events.
Net subscriber losses at Dish TV, the satellite pay TV service, were narrowed versus the same period a year ago -- 132,000 versus 266,000 -- now totaling 9.01 million DISH TV subscribers.
Overall there was a loss of about 413,000 net Pay-TV compared to a net decrease of 259,000 in the year-ago quarter.
Now Dish Network’s totals 11.32 million pay-TV subscribers. Its average monthly rate per subscriber is at $88.76.
First quarter revenue was virtually flat -- $3.22 million from $3.19 billion, with net income was down to $99 million from $361.3 millon.
Dish Network said Covid-19 also caused “severe disruption” in commercial areas including the hospitality and airline industries, representing about 250,000 subscribers.
The company said: “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.”