Sling TV Adds 65,000 Q2 Subscribers

Dish Network Aug. 9 said it added 65,000 Sling TV subscribers in the second quarter, ended June 30. The pioneer online TV platform ended the quarter with 2.44 million subs, representing more than 22% of the satellite TV operator’s total pay-TV subscription business.

Dish markets Sling — the first-ever online TV service launched in 2015 — to consumers who do not subscribe to traditional satellite and cable pay-TV services, as well as to current and recent traditional pay-TV subs who desire a lower cost alternative.

The strategy appears to be working as Sling has added 121,000 net subs in the past 12 months, overcoming a 56,000 net sub loss in the previous-year period. Through six months of the fiscal year, Sling has added 302,000 subs compared to a loss of 337,000 subs in last year.

“We continue to experience increased competition, including competition from other subscription video on-demand and live-linear OTT service providers,” Dish wrote in the regulatory filing. “The six months ended June 30, 2020, was negatively impacted by delays and cancellations of sporting events as a result of COVID-19.”

Meanwhile, Dish’s legacy satellite TV service lost 262,000 subs over the past year, an increase of 90,000 subs from the previous-year period. The decline marked a downturn from the 40,000 pay-TV subs lost in the previous-year period. Dish lost 200,000 pay-TV subs in the first quarter.

Dish attributed the increase in net satellite TV subscriber losses to lower gross new pay-TV subscriber activations and a higher churn rate. In an attempt to reverse the churn rate, last month, Dish inked an agreement with WarnerMedia to offer its pay-TV subs direct access to the latter’s HBO Max subscription streaming video platform.

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