Dish Loses 31,000 Subs in Second Quarter

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Dish Network chairman and co-founder Charlie Ergen

Dish reported losing around 79,000 Dish TV subscribers during the latest quarter, while adding around 48,000 Sling TV subscribers.

Charlie Ergen’s Dish Network on Monday said it lost 31,000 net TV subscribers in the recent quarter amid a carriage dispute with HBO.

Dish, which has consistently cited competition and has also been affected by carriage disputes, ended June with 12.03 million subscribers, including nearly 9.56 million Dish subscribers and more than 2.47 million Sling subscribers.

In the second quarter of 2018, Dish lost 151,000 net pay TV subscribers. During the latest quarter, Dish reported losing around 79,000 Dish TV subscribers, while adding around 48,000 Sling TV subscribers.

Univision and Dish at the end of March settled a carriage dispute that started when talks hit an impasse in June 2018. But a dispute with AT&T-owned WarnerMedia’s HBO has continued.

Dish reported second-quarter earnings of $317 million, or 60 cents per share, compared with $439 million, or 83 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Overall revenue totaled $3.21 billion for the three months to June 30, against $3.46 billion during the same period of 2018.

Dish’s earnings report follows Friday’s news that telecom giants T-Mobile US and Sprint got approval from the Department of Justice for their merger, which will combine two of the largest U.S. wireless providers. They agreed to sell assets to Dish in a deal valued at $5 billion, which will make Dish a wireless company.

Dish said it "will enter the U.S. wireless market as the fourth nationwide facilities-based network competitor” with what it called a “transformative transaction.” It said it has committed to the FCC to deploy “a facilities-based 5G broadband network capable of serving 70 percent of the U.S. population by June 2023.”