Dish Reports 2.2 Million Sling TV Subscribers

Charlie Ergen - House Hearing - 2001
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The company reports 39,000 pay TV subscriber additions in the fourth quarter and for the first time breaks out Dish and Sling TV video user figures.

Satellite TV giant Dish Network said Wednesday that it added 39,000 pay TV subscribers in the fourth quarter and disclosed that it has 2.212 million Sling TV subscribers.

It marked the first time the company has separately disclosed its Dish and Sling TV video subscribers.

Dish said it added about 700,000 Sling customers over the course of 2017, while its traditional satellite TV arm lost about 1.1 million subscribers over the same period, making for a net decline of 429,000 for the full year.

The company, led by chairman Charlie Ergen and president and CEO Erik Carlson, said it ended the fourth quarter with 13.24 million pay TV subscribers, including 11.03 million Dish video customers.

"Net pay TV subscribers increased by approximately 39,000 in the fourth quarter, which includes 75,000 reactivations in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands following the extraordinary devastation of Hurricane Maria," the company said. "This gain is compared to net additions of 28,000 in the year-ago quarter."

Fourth-quarter earnings rose from 73 cents in the year-ago period to $2.64 per share, boosted by an income tax benefit of approximately $1.2 billion due to an adjustment to deferred tax assets and liabilities related to tax reform legislation, and negatively impacted by an asset impairment of $112 million.