Dish Network Sees Profits Rise, Subs Fall


Englewood, Colo. -

Dish Network's

fourth-quarter financial report yielded both good and bad news Thursday for the satellite TV provider.

The company registered a 41 percent earnings increase in the period but also showed but also saw a loss of 156,000 subscribers -- the third consecutive quarterly subscriber loss -- dropping its total customer base to 14.1 million.

For the full year, Dish added 33,000 new subscribers.

Like rival DirecTV, Dish has been directing its recruitment efforts toward more affluent customers who are more likely to take premium services and less likely to contribute to churn. But unlike DirecTV, Dish's effort resulted in fewer enlistments, while DirecTV reported major subscriber growth earlier in the week. DirecTV added 289,000 customers in the fourth quarter and 663,000 for the full year.

Analysts speculated that Dish's subscriber defections are coming from its ongoing carriage disputes with several content providers, including Fox and National Geographic. A number of those channels went dark last fall after Dish failed to negotiate new carriage agreements.

The company also reduced some of its aggressive promotions and discount offers.

For the quarter, Dish Network's profit was $252 million, up from $179 million in the year-ago period. Revenue rose 8.2 percent to $3.21 billion.

Meanwhile, Dish Network's sister company EchoStar, which manufactures set-top boxes and other devices, showed a $169 million profit in the period, compared with a $30 million loss from a year ago. Revenue dropped 8 percent to $513 million.


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