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Dish Network Lost Record 413,000 Paid Subscribers in Q1

Company says the coronavirus pandemic caused ”severe disruption“ in its commercial segments

Dish Network had a record net loss of 413,000 paid subscribers in the first quarter of 2020. That’s worse than the net loss of 259,000 subs in Q1 2019.

“The COVID-19 pandemic caused severe disruption in certain commercial segments served by Dish, including the hospitality and airline industries,” the company said Thursday morning in its earnings release.

Dish closed the first quarter with 11.32 million pay-TV subscribers. Breaking down that total further, 9.01 million were Dish TV subs and 2.31 million were Sling TV subs.

For Q1 2019, Dish reported it had 12.063 million total pay-TV subscribers. That year-ago number broke down to 9.639 million Dish TV subs and 2.424 million Sling TV subs. At the end of 2019’s fiscal year (so, previously the most-recently reported quarter) Dish had 11.99 million pay-TV subs. Of those, 9.40 million came from Dish TV and the remaining 2.59 million came from Sling.

This time around, Dish’s net income for the first quarter of 2020 was $73 million — a far cry from the $340 million profit it turned a year ago. Earnings per share (EPS) diluted to 13 cents. Wall Street forecast 57 cents of EPS, so that was a big miss.

In terms of revenue, however, Dish Network topped estimates, posting $3.22 billion vs. the $3.15 billion analysts expected. A year ago, Dish’s revenue was $3.19 billion.

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