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Dish Lost Nearly Quarter Million Sling TV Subs in Past 12 Months Through June 30

Dish created the online television market in 2015 with the launch of Sling TV, which included the first-ever non-pay-TV access to ESPN. Today, Sling TV is trying to remain competitive with market leader Hulu + Live TV, among other platforms.

The service Aug. 3 reported a net loss of 55,000 subscribers for the second quarter, ended June 30. That compared with a gain of 65,000 Sling TV subs in the previous-year period. Sling has lost 242,000 subs in the past 12 months of the fiscal year to end the period with almost 2.2 million subs. That compared with more than 2.4 million subs at the end of Q2 in 2021.

Dish attributed the decrease in net Sling TV subs primarily to higher subscriber disconnects following seasonal sports activity.

“We continue to experience increased competition, including competition from other subscription video-on-demand and live-linear OTT service providers,” the company said in its 10Q filing.

On the pay-TV side, the satellite TV operator’s legacy business continues to shrink as consumers migrate toward alternative over-the-top video platforms. Dish lost 202,000 pay-TV subs in the quarter, up from a loss of 132,000 subs in the previous-year period. The company ended the quarter with 7.79 million subs — down 763,000 subs from 8.55 million at the end of June 30, 2021.

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Dish said the decrease in gross pay-TV subscriber activations was primarily related to the lack of demand and shifting consumer behavior, 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 select programmers.

Regardless, the pay-TV segment reported operating income of $785.5 million on revenue of $3.15 billion. That compared with operating income of $827 million on revenue of $3.25 billion last year.

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