Sling TV Ends Year With 2.2M Subscribers

Dish Network disclosed Sling TV customers for the first time Wednesday, with the over-the-top pioneer ending 2017 with 2.2 million customers.

It was the first time since the 2015 launch of the service that Dish has disclosed its customer count. At the same time Dish said its satellite TV service ended the year with 11.03 million customers.

Other OTT services have started to reveal subscriber numbers in recent weeks. HBO said its standalone HBO Now and other OTT services have about 5 million customers, while CBS said that its CBS All Access and Showtime over-the-top offerings have a combined 5 million customers and are on track to reach 8 million by 2020.

The Sling TV numbers come as Dish reported a less than stellar fourth quarter, with revenue down 7.2% to $3.48 billion from $3.75 billion in the previous year. Net income was up sharply to $1.39 billion, from $355 million in the prior year, entirely due to a $1.2 billion tax break resulting from recent tax reform measures. 

Overall, net pay-TV subscribers increased by about 39,000 in the fourth quarter, which includes 75,000 reactivations in Puerto Rico and the U.S.Virgin Islands following the extraordinary devastation of Hurricane Maria. The gain is compared to net additions of 28,000 in the year-ago quarter.

For the year, revenue was down 5.4% to $14.39 billion, compared to $15.21 billion in 2016. Net income rose to $2.1 billion, versus $1.5 billion in 2016, and mostly due to tax reform.