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Dish Sees New Sub Growth Plummet

Englewood, Colo. — Dish Network saw its net new subscriber totals plummet almost 89 percent in the first quarter of 2008, but managed a 7.5 percent increase in total revenue to $2.8 billion.

According to its filing Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the satellite TV provider said net new subscribers in the period, ended March 31, were 35,000, down from 310,000 net new subscribers in the quarter a year ago.

The new subscriber additions in the quarter elevated the company’s total subscribers 3 percent to approximately 13.815 million to date, the company said.

Dish Network blamed the decline in subscriber growth for the period to difficult economic conditions, stronger competition and signal piracy and fraud.

Cable and telco services have aggressively pushed triple-play solutions offering subscribers overall bargains in exchange for long-term service commitments. In addition, DirecTV has aggressively pursued premium consumers by expanding its high definition TV offerings.

Dish revealed on Monday that it just added 22 new HD national channels to its lineup.

Dish also citied satellite launch delays and other operational problems with hindering growth.

Churn in the period was said to have increased to 1.68 percent from 1.46 percent a year ago.

The average revenue per subscriber was reported as $67.93 for the quarter, up 5.9 percent, while the average acquisition cost per new subscriber was $709, up 6.9 percent.