Dish Loses 143,000 Pay TV Subscribers in First Quarter

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Charlie Ergen

The satellite TV company, led by Charlie Ergen, reports lower earnings, but they exceeded Wall Street estimates.

Dish Network on Monday reported its first-quarter earnings and said it lost pay TV subscribers in the fourth quarter and it missed the revenue projections of analysts, news that caused the stock to sink 2.3 percent.

The satellite TV company, led by Charlie Ergen, lost 143,000 net pay TV subscribers after, in the fourth quarter, adding 28,000. In the first quarter of 2016, it had lost 23,000. Dish ended the first quarter with 13.53 million pay TV subscribers.

Analysts had on average projected a subscriber loss of 72,000 in the latest period.

Shares of Dish fell $1.51 to $62.93 on Monday, leaving the company with a $29 billion market cap.

The company in its earnings report once again included subscribers for its Sling TV streaming service, but didn't detail how many of those it added in the quarter or how many it had in total at the end of March.

Quarterly earnings of $376 million declined from $400 million in the year-ago period, but exceeded Wall Street expectations. Revenue of $3.68 billion was down 3.9 percent, falling short of the consensus Wall Street estimate. 

Pay TV average revenue per user for the first quarter totaled $86.55, compared to $87.94 in the year-ago period. Dish's pay TV subscriber churn rate was 1.69 percent, compared with 1.63 percent in the first quarter of 2016.

Dish also said it lost approximately 25,000 net broadband subscribers in the first quarter, bringing its total broadband customer base to approximately 555,000.

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