Dish Loses Less Subscribers Than Expected in 2Q

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Dish Loses Less Subscribers Than Expected in 2Q

In a regulatory filing released on Thursday, Dish Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH) disclosed that it lost less subscribers than expected in the second quarter.

According to Reuters, the company reported a loss of 10,000 net subscribers at the end of the second quarter on June 30. This exceeded estimates by Canaccord Genuity analyst Tom Eagan; he had expected 87,000 less customers. This compares to the 135,000 subscribers lost by the company in the previous year.

In addition, Dish completed the second quarter with 14.1 million subscribers; this follows the previous quarters that had also included subscriber losses.  As compared to 2011’s second and third quarters, the company lost about 250,000 combined but recently it has been exceeding analysts’ expectations for subscriber growth.

Eagan said on Thursday in a research note via Reuters, “The improving customer results appear to confirm that the company continues to turn around its PayTV operations.”

Dish is currently trying to change from an independent video provider to a wireless company; the FCC is currently reviewing whether to approve its desired use of spectrum to communicate mobile video.

The filing also disclosed some additional information. In the quarter Dish had 665,000 additional gross new subscribers, a 16 percent rise from the previous year, as noted in the filing. Bloomberg noted that results don’t factor in Dish’s decision to cut AMC Networks Inc (NASDAQ:AMCX) just before July 1.

But on a negative note, the company’s churn rate, also know as its rate of cancellations, rose to 1.6 percent, from the first quarter’s 1.35 percent. Dish could potentially see a loss of even more customers this summer thanks to its recent disagreement with AMC Networks.

Dish vs. Its Rivals 

Back on June 30, Dish got rid of AMC Networks Inc (NASDAQ:AMCX) after the expiration of their contract and a subsequent failure to reach a new one.  AMC’s channel was then blacked out and now Dish subscribers cannot watch the start of the new season for the popular “Breaking Bad” series.

Dish has also been going after customers from its rival, DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV). The satellite company has been fighting its own battles recently over fees with Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIA) that also caused a blackout: 20 million of DirecTV’s customers lost access to MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon.

This week, Dish has been taking a dig at DirectTV, according to Reuters, by posting on its Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) page photos and messages advertising programs such as “The Daily Show,” which is not unavailable on DirecTV because it runs on Comedy Central.

It’s been an interesting summer for the company and for those interested in finding out more about Dish’s second quarter’s financial details will have to wait a little bit until they release their earnings report later this summer. The date appears TBD after reviewing the company’s website but Bloomberg reported that it may be an August date.

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