Sling TV returned to quarterly growth for the first time since the third quarter of 2020, adding 65,000 subscribers in the second quarter.
The gains compare to a loss of 56,000 subscribers in Q2 of last year, and it's a hopeful sign for Sling TV, with the second quarter usually presenting a tough growth opportunity for pay TV operators. (That's often the month that owners of vacation rentals shut down their service, for one example.)
The Dish Network-owned live streaming service had about 2.439 million users as of the end of June 30, making it the third largest virtual pay TV (vMVPD) service behind Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV.
As Dish conceded earlier this year, that's not a great metric, considering that Dish--which launched in February 2015--was first out of the gate by a factor of several years.
Acknowledging that its UX game for Sling TV is lacking, Dish is in the process of rolling out a dramatically revised user experience, which recently deployed on select high-end Roku devices.
But any positive subscriber boost might be offset by recent Sling TV price increases--it's monthly price for both the Sling Blue and Sling Orange tiers just increased from $30 to $35 a month.
Meanwhile, Dish Network's broader pay TV business faces the prospect of a blackout with the largest broadcast station operator, Sinclair.
Overall, Dish reported a net declined of 67,000 pay TV subscribers, with its legacy satellite TV service losing another 132,000 customers in the second quarter. Dish has 10.99 million remaining pay TV clients,
Dish reported a revenue gain of nearly 29% in the second quarter to $449 million, with the company picking up an additional 200,000 wireless customers after its purchase of Republic Wireless.
Dish finished Q2 with 8.9 million wireless customers.
Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. His reliable mid-range jump shot, deft ambidextrous post-up game and tough interior defense have been criminally overlooked.
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