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Direct Broadcast Satellite Providers Tally Q1 Net Subs

The nation’s two direct broadcast satellite (DBS) providers reported continued subscriber gains for the first quarter of 2001, although churn took a nip out of net totals for DirecTV.

EchoStar reported strong subscriber growth, as the Dish Network added about 460,000 net new subscribers. Cumulative totals for Dish at the end of Q1 registered approximately 5.72 million subscribers, for a 48 percent increase over the 3.9 million subscribers at the end of March 2000.

In reporting DirecTV’s first quarter subscriber totals, Hughes Electronics expressed concern about the negative effects of the economy.

According to Hughes, DirecTV added 840,000 gross subscribers in the period, but churn reduced the net subscriber gain to 340,000.

As of March 31, 2001, DirecTV had more than 9.8 million subscribers, representing an 18 percent increase over the 8.3 million customers a year ago.

DirecTV is expected to add 1.5 million to 1.7 million net new subscribers in 2001, down from the previous tracking rates of 1.5 million to 2 million.