Dish bleeds more pay-TV subscribers, Sling TV disappoints

(Reuters) - Dish Network Corp fell short of estimates for quarterly profit on Friday, as the U.S. satellite TV service provider lost more pay-TV subscribers than expected and posted anemic growth in its streaming service Sling TV.

FILE PHOTO: A Dish Network satellite dish is shown on a residential home in Encinitas, California, U.S., November 8, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

The company’s pay-TV business has been struggling as subscribers switch to online streaming services such as Netflix and’s Prime Video.

Dish has also tried to attract viewers with Sling TV, operating in an sector that is set to get more competitive with the entry of Walt Disney Co’s streaming service later this year.

But Sling subscriber additions of 7,000 for the first quarter was well below the 91,000 subscribers it added last year.

Overall, Dish’s pay-TV business, which includes both satellite TV and Sling TV, lost 259,000 subscribers on a net basis during the first quarter, compared with the 94,000 it lost a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected Dish to lose 242,000 subscribers, according to research firm FactSet.

Dish blamed blackouts of Spanish-language channel Univision and AT&T Inc-owned premium cable network HBO for the drop in the subscribers.

Dish and Univision reached a carriage agreement in March, but HBO is still not available for Dish subscribers after the company failed to reach a new deal with AT&T.

Net income attributable to the company fell to $340 million, or 65 cents per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, from $368 million, or 70 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected the company to report a profit of 66 cents per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Revenue fell about 8 percent to $3.19 billion, in line with estimates.

Reporting by Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty