Dish Network’s Sling TV virtual multiplatform video programming distributor (vMVPD) added about 214,000 net subscribers in the third quarter, more than offsetting a net loss of about 183,000 at satellite provider Dish TV.
The company gained about 30,000 net pay-TV subscribers overall. That significantly exceeded analysts’ expectation of a loss of 134,000, as well as Q2 2022’s 257,000 net loss, and Q3 2021’s 13,000 net loss.
Sling’s total rose to 2.41 million at the end of Q3 — up from 2.19 million in this year’s second quarter, but still lower than its 2.6 million total in Q3 2021. The MVPD saw losses in each of the last three quarters.
The vMVPD also announced a price hike of $5 per month , effective immediately for new subscribers and on Dec. 3 for existing subscribers. With the change, the monthly cost for Sling Orange or Sling Blue is now $40, and a Sling Orange & Blue bundle costs $55.
"Sling doesn’t own the networks customers watch — it pays programmers for channels, and the price of programming continues to rise," company said in a blog post, adding that Sling "is committed to keeping costs low and continually works with programmers to provide reliable service. In fact, Sling hasn’t raised prices in nearly two years and maintains a generous cost advantage compared to its competitors."
For Dish TV, Q3 marked an acceleration of its ongoing losses, including a 130,000 loss in Q3 2021.
Dish TV ended Q3 with 7.61 million subscribers, compared to 7.79 million at the end of this year's second quarter.
Dish TV’s decline reflects growing losses in its once-dependable rural customer base, as well as more urban markets, as over-the-top has become more broadly available.
Dish Network’s own new wireless business saw net subscribers increase by just 1,000 in Q3 (to total 8.01 million), but that compared to a net loss of 121,000 in the year-ago quarter.
Q3 revenue totaled $4.1 billion, down from $4.45 billion in Q3 2021. Net income totaled $412 million, down from $557 million in the year-ago quarter. Diluted earnings per share were $0.65, down from $0.88 a year ago.