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Dish Loses 96,000 Subscribers in 2Q

(Image credit: Dish)

Dish said it lost another 96,000 pay-TV subscribers, but recorded an increase in profits.

The company said Dish TV subscribers fell by about 40,000 in the quarter. A year ago, Dish TV lost 79,000 subscribers. Dish’s Sling TV streaming service lost 56,000 subs. A year ago it added 48,000 subscribers.

Dish said that about 45,000 of the 250,000 commercial accounts that asked for temporary rate relief resumed normal service. With those 45,000 subscribers added back in, Dish subscribers finished the quarter up 5,000.

Dish ended the quarter with 11.27 pay-TV subscribers, including 9.02 million in Dish and 2.25 million on Sling.

Second-quarter net income rose 43% to $452 million, or 78 cents a share, from $317 million, or 60 cents a share, a year ago.

Revenue fell 0.6% to $319 billion from $3.21 billion.

 Dish’s results were better than Wall Street had been expecting.

“Dish’s focus on rural customers is working,” said analyst Craig Moffett of MoffettNathanson.

“The performance gap between Dish and DirecTV is breathtaking. Dish has been losing subscribers since 2010, but only gently. DirecTV kept growing far longer, but, contrast, they are now simply imploding,” Moffett said. “The difference between the two companies is the difference between having a strategy and… well, not having one.”

But Moffett noted that Dish’s rural strength could be hurt by government programs and cable operator efforts to bring better broadband to smaller communities.