Dish Lays Off 500, Resolves 2-Month Hearst TV Blackout

Besieged Dish Network finally resolved a carriage renewal standoff with Hearst Television that had left Dish customers in 27 markets without 37 local affiliates since September 8 — only to also announce that it has laid off 500 more employees.

“Like most businesses, we continually evaluate and make adjustments to ensure we’re set up for long-term success,” Dish said in a statement about the layoffs, which will affect employees in its headquarters state of Colorado. “We made the difficult decision to part ways with some team members due to changing business demands on some teams.”

Reports of smaller numbers of layoffs at the company have surfaced multiple times during 2023, but without public statements by Dish.

The multi-year distribution deal restored Hearst TV station access for Dish customers as of November 10.



Dish had asserted that Hearst was demanding tens of millions in rate increases while “devaluing its product by making programming available elsewhere, even as viewership declines.” Hearst claimed that Dish had been paying below-market rates for retransmission rights to its local stations.

Dish Network’s shares dropped 37% last week following its Q3 earnings report, bringing the value of its stock down by about 75% year-to-date.

In a note to investors, MoffettNathanson characterized the earnings report as "shockingly bad." Dish "has no money,” the analyst firm wrote. “They have more spectrum than they know what to do with. Among their many problems – their Boost prepaid business is floundering; their Boost postpaid launch is stillborn; their satellite TV business is in free fall; their streaming video service is imploding; free cash flow is already negative and is falling fast – there is no one, and we mean no one, who thinks that more low-band spectrum is the answer. To ANY question.”

Dish reported a loss per share of 26 cents, instead of analysts’ expectation of an 11 cent-per-share profit. Q3 saw $3.7 billion in total revenue and a net loss of $139 million, compared to revenue of $4.1 billion and net income of $412 million in Q3 2022.

Net pay-TV subscribers dropped by 64,000 in the quarter, compared to a net increase of 30,000 in the year-ago quarter and a loss of 294,000 in this year’s second quarter. Dish TV lost 181,000 subscribers for a total of 8.84 million in Q3, versus losing 184,000 in the year-ago quarter.

Sling TV gained 117,000, for a total of 2.12 million, versus gaining 214,000 in the year-ago quarter.

Concurrent with the earnings results, Dish, which had originally said that president/CEO Erik Carlson would leave after its merger with EchoStar was completed by year’s end, announced that Carlson would leave Nov. 12, although stating that the departure did not reflect any disagreement with the board.

EchoStar CEO Hamid Akhavan added the top positions at Dish Network as of Nov. 13.

1 comment about "Dish Lays Off 500, Resolves 2-Month Hearst TV Blackout".
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  1. Ben B from Retired, November 13, 2023 at 7:57 p.m.

    Dish is the worse when it comes to getting deals done with local TV stations and national they even fought GSN I think last year only lasted a month. I had a feeling they get a deal done with Heast I think Dish & DirecTV/AT&T still have to get a deal done with Mission been dark for a year.  

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