Sling TV Offsets Q3 Dish Subscriber Losses

Sling TV is back.

Dish Network Nov. 7 said it added 214,000 Sling subscribers in the third quarter, ended Sept. 30. That compared to a gain of 26,000 Sling subs in the previous-year period. Sling ended the period with 2.69 million subs, up 13.5% from 2.37 million subs at the same time last year.

Launched in 2015 as the first standalone online TV service, Sling helped create a market that now includes YouTube TV, AT&T TV Now, Philo TV and Fubo TV, among others.

Meanwhile, the legacy Dish satellite TV service continued to shrink, losing 66,000 subs in the period, a significant improvement from 367,000 subs lost last year. Dish ended the period with 9.49 million Dish subs, down from 10.28 million subs at the same time last year.

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Net pay-TV subs increased approximately 148,000 subs in the third quarter, compared to a decline of approximately 341,000 subs in the third quarter of 2018. To mitigate pay-TV sub losses, Dish unveiled a Flex Pack skinny bundle consisting of more than 50 channels and the choice of one of 10 themed add-on channel packs, which include, among others, local broadcast networks and kids and general entertainment programming.

“While we plan to implement these and other new marketing efforts for our Dish TV services, there can be no assurance that we will ultimately be successful in increasing our gross new Dish TV subscriber activations,” the company disclosed in its regulatory filing.

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