May 8, 2018
Pioneering online TV service Sling TV May 8 disclosed it added 91,000 subscribers in the first quarter (ended March 31). It ended the period with more than 2.3 million subs.
The service, launched in 2015 by Dish Network, was the first to offer standalone access to premium pay-TV channels, including ESPN, with a long-term contract.
Sling TV has been joined by PlayStation Vue, Spectrum TV Plus, DirecTV Now, YouTube TV, Fubo TV and Hulu Live, to create an online TV market aimed at attracting cord-cutter and millennials.
Indeed, Dish said it lost approximately 94,000 subscribers in the quarter, compared to a decline of about 143,000 in the previous-year period.
The comparison is misleading considering that without Sling, Dish lost approximately 185,000 pay-TV subs. The satellite TV operator closed the quarter with 10.8 million subscribers compared to more than 11 million last year. When combined with Sling TV, Dish’s total pay-TV sub base topped 13.1 million compared to 13.5 million subscribers at the end of first quarter 2017.
Lone bright spot: Dish’s average monthly subscriber churn rate (subs not renewing service) was 1.47% compared to 1.92% for first quarter 2017.