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Dish Lost 595,000 Pay-TV Subs in 2021, Sling TV Flat

Satellite TV operator Dish Feb. 24 disclosed it lost 595,000 pay-TV subscribers in the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2021, to end the fiscal period with 8.2 million subs, compared with 8.8 million at the end of 2020.

Dish’s online TV platform Sling TV ended the year with 2.48 million subs, up slightly from 2.47 million subs at the end of 2020. The pioneering platform, which was the first to offer ESPN outside the legacy pay-TV bundle when launching 2015, added just 12,000 subs in 2021.

Dish attributed the declines and market softness to the lack of consumer demand and channel removals, including Tegna (which carries NBC), as well as increased competitive pressures, including aggressive short-term introductory pricing and bundled offers combining broadband, video and/or wireless services and other discounted promotional offers, live-linear OTT service providers, and direct-to-consumer offerings by certain of our programmers.

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Dish competitors include Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV+, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube TV, Disney+, ESPN+, Paramount+, HBO Max, STARZ, Peacock,
FuboTV and Philo.

“We continue to experience increased competition, including competition from other subscription video on-demand and live-linear OTT service providers,” Dish said a regulatory filing.

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