Analyst: Sling TV Sub Growth ‘Hitting a Wall’

Sling TV, Dish’s OTT TV service for cord-cutters, has been helping to blunt the losses coming out of Dish’s core satellite TV business, but its contribution appears to be slowing rapidly, according to MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett.

Dish no longer breaks out Sling TV subs but reported Thursday that it lost 281,000 net video subs in Q2, the company’s largest quarterly video sub loss ever.

“This time, combining the two businesses likely obscures how quickly Sling TV is hitting a wall,” Moffett wrote, estimating that Dish added just 49,000 Sling TV subs in Q2. “For a one-year-old OTT service, that may be an even more alarming result than the huge 330K subscriber loss that same Sling TV result implies for the core satellite TV business.”

Moffett also weighed in on Dish’s spectrum position – and the shrinking timeline on what it can or intends to do with it – amid the specter of FCC’s broadcast incentive auctions. Moffett held that it’s “widely accepted” that bidders won’t have anywhere near $88 billion to spend on that spectrum, which could cause the auction to spill into next year.

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