Dish Network reports low Q3 profits as subscribers switch to streaming

The company's third quarter profits failed to meet the expectations of market analysts, as streaming services attract former customers.

Paul Sakuma/ AP
In this Feb. 23, 2011, file photo, Dish Network satellite dishes are shown at an apartment complex in Palo Alto, Calif.

Satellite TV provider Dish Network posted lower-than-expected profits on Wednesday, despite a slight rise in total revenue.

The company’s net income rose to $307 million, or 64 cents per share, in the third quarter. Though that’s an improvement from last year’s appraisal, analysts had expected a profit of 68 cents per share.

Dish lost about 116,000 pay-TV subscribers by the end of the third quarter, compared to just 23,000 in the previous year. Market analysts had forecasted a decline of about 142,000, Reuters reports.

Dish’s slipping profits can be attributed to customer loss, as many former subscribers migrate to online streaming services. Together, Netflix and YouTube account for more than half of all bandwidth consumed in North America, a Sandvine study reports.

"Online video and streaming services are gaining serious ground," The Christian Science Monitor’s Jessica Mendoza reported last spring:

Netflix saw more than 4 million new subscribers in the last quarter of 2014, bringing its total subscriber base to more than 57 million worldwide. About 40 percent of US homes now have access to subscription video on-demand (SVOD), according to Nielsen’s Total Audience Report, released in March.

Meanwhile, pay-TV providers lost about 125,000 net subscribers in 2014, up from 95,000 in 2013, according to New Hampshire-based media firm Leichtman Research Group.

But cable companies may be able to hang on by emphasizing their role as internet providers. Streaming services, which are expected to offer faster and more reliable video streaming, have put an increased burden on internet infrastructure.

For almost two years, Dish Network’s Sling TV was one of the few streaming-television services on the market that didn't require a traditional cable or satellite package. The $20 per month package gets subscribers 28 streaming TV channels. The $40 package comes with 50 channels.

But AT&T’s upcoming purchase of Time Warner threatens to take some of Sling TV’s estimated 1 million subscribers. AT&T’s DirecTV Now service, which will launch in late November, will cost $35 per month, including mobile streaming costs. And it will have over 100 channels.

“Is the market big enough for all these services? The answer is no,” Dan Rayburn, an analyst with consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, told the Denver Post. “They are all targeting the same audience, offering the same channels and there just isn’t enough room for more than four players.”

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Dish Network reports low Q3 profits as subscribers switch to streaming
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today