DISH Reports Fewer Subscriber Losses Than Expected in Q2

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DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH) Friday reported revenue totaling $3.19 billion for the quarter ending June 30, 2020, compared to $3.21 billion for the corresponding period in 2019. Net income attributable to DISH Network totaled $452 million for the second quarter 2020, compared to $317 million from the year-ago quarter. Diluted earnings per share were $0.78 for the second quarter, compared to $0.60 per share during the same period of 2019. 

DISH TV net subscribers decreased by approximately 40,000 in the second quarter, compared to a net decrease of 79,000 in the year-ago quarter. SLING TV net subscribers decreased by approximately 56,000 in the second quarter compared to a net increase of 48,000 in the year-ago quarter. 

“Dish announced fewer sub losses and much stronger EBITDA and FCF from the DBS business than anticipated,” said analyst Jonathan Chaplin of New Street Research. Craig Moffett of MoffettNathanson said Dish has wisely focused its satellite TV business on the most defensible part of its customer base: rural Americans. “That strategy is indisputably working,” he said, “Dish’s subscriber losses in Q2 were once again much smaller than expected. Rural customers not only don’t have the option of switching to cable. They don’t have the option of switching to a broadband-delivered OTT service either.”

The quarterly report stated that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant disruption in certain commercial segments served by DISH, including the hospitality and airline industries. As a result, DISH paused service or provided temporary rate relief for approximately 250,000 commercial accounts and removed those accounts from its ending Pay-TV subscriber count as of March 31, 2020. During the second quarter, 45,000 of these subscribers resumed normal service. 

Since DISH did not incur significant expenses related to the return of these commercial subscribers, they were added to the June 30, 2020 DISH TV subscriber count (without being recorded as new subscribers during the second quarter). Therefore, DISH TV’s subscriber count at June 30, 2020 increased by 5,000 subscribers when compared to March 31, 2020.

The company closed the quarter with 11.27 million Pay-TV subscribers, including 9.02 million DISH TV subscribers and 2.25 million SLING TV subscribers.

DISH Network’s first-half 2020 revenue totaled $6.40 billion, compared to $6.39 billion in revenue from the same period last year. In the first six months of 2020, net income attributable to DISH Network totaled $525 million, compared with $657 million during the same period last year.

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