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Dish Loses More Pay TV Subscribers In First Quarter

Total revenue for the company rose to $3.22 billion in the quarter ended March 31 from $3.19 billion, beating analysts' average estimate of $3.15 billion

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U.S. satellite TV provider Dish Network Corp lost more than 250,000 pay TV subscribers in the first quarter as it waived fees and paused some services for hospitality and airline sector customers, which have come to a standstill due to travel curbs during the coronavirus pandemic.

Dish Network shares were down 0.66% in pre-market trading.

The company is re-positioning itself as a wireless carrier to stem the losses in its Pay TV business as consumers move to online streaming platforms and cut cable services during nationwide furloughs and layoffs due to nationwide shutdowns to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Dish's pay TV unit, which includes its Sling TV streaming service, lost net 413,000 subscribers compared with a net loss of 259,000 subscribers a year earlier. Analysts at Cowen expected a pay TV net loss of 222,000.

Dish, much like AT&T, has been bleeding pay-TV customers since before the coronavirus pandemic and is pivoting to wireless as more people cord cut.

The company is creating a virtual 5G network that is estimated to cost $10 billion. Dish has until 2023 to provide wireless coverage to 70% of the U.S. population or it faces $2.2 billion in FCC fines.

Net income attributable to Dish fell to $73.1 million, or 13 cents per share, from $339.8 million, or 65 cents per share.

Total revenue for the company rose to $3.22 billion in the quarter ended March 31 from $3.19 billion, beating analysts' average estimate of $3.15 billion, according to IBES data by Refinitiv.

Excluding items, Dish reported earnings of 55 cents per share, below the estimate of 58 cents per share.

(Reuters)


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