ENGLEWOOD, Colo.—Dish says it lost 273,000 subscribers to its Sling TV vMPVD service in the latest quarter, ending Dec. 31, 2021, compared to a drop of 133,000 in the same quarter a year earlier.
The company closed the quarter with 10.71 million pay-TV subscribers, including 8.22 million DISH TV subscribers, a reduction of 200,000 and 2.49 million Sling TV subscribers. Net income for Dish was down to $552 million, or 87 cents a share, from $733 million, or $1.24 a share, a year ago and revenue dropped 2% to $4.45 billion.
In a call with analysts, Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen attributed the drop in to several “headwinds” including the loss of Tegna viewers during the NFL season. That standoff was resolved when the two reached agreement earlier this month. Also during the quarter, Dish raised the subscription fee to Sling TV by $5 per month.
Despite the drop in subscriptions, Ergen was optimistic during a call with analysts this week.
“Sling is a profitable business that will grow,” he said. “It's going to require a little patience, but with the platform overhaul last year, we're now positioned to be able to innovate and enhance the customer experience with new features and differentiated offerings.”
Dish, which is increasing its focus on wireless services, reported that its retail wireless net subscribers decreased by approximately 245,000 in the fourth quarter, compared to a net decrease of 363,000 in the year-ago quarter. The company closed the quarter with 8.55 million retail wireless subscribers.
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Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched digitalbroadcasting.com for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (www.tvtech.com), the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.