Back from Dead? Somehow Dish Network Added Customers Last Quarter
November 7, 2020 Topic: Technology Region: Americas Blog Brand: Techland Tags: DishDish NetworkCablePay TVCord Cutters

Back from Dead? Somehow Dish Network Added Customers Last Quarter

How is that possible in the age of cord-cutting?

Dish Network, in the third quarter, managed to buck the cord-cutting trend, and added 116,000 pay-TV subscribers, across its Dish Network and Sling TV services. The company lost 96,000 video subscribers in the second quarter, after dropping over 400,000 in the first quarter.

According to a Deadline analysis, Dish lost 87,000 subscribers in the third quarter, while Sling TV gained 203,000 subscribers.

The new numbers leave Dish with  11.42 million pay TV subscribers, including 8.96 million to Dish TV and 2.46 million for Sling TV.

The company also said that it made $4.53 billion in revenue in the quarter, compared to $3.17 billion the same time in 2019. And they posted net income of $505 million, compared with $353 million the same time the year before. That performance was ahead of analyst expectation, per RTTnews.

The third quarter was Dish Network’s first full quarter as the owner of Boost Mobile, after Dish took control of the company following the T-Mobile/Sprint merger. It’s part of a pivot by the company towards providing 5G service.

And to that end, Intel announced last week that it reached an agreement with Dish to join forces on the buildout of a new 5G network.

“Fully-virtualized, cloud-native networks like the one DISH is building bring the same server economics that transformed the data center,”  Dan Rodriguez, Intel corporate vice president and general manager of the Network Platforms Group, said in the announcement.

“We are excited to partner with DISH to lay the foundation for a truly agile network and have already begun working with our OEM partners who have designed FlexRAN-based servers to enable a variety of new innovative use cases and services.”

Also, per Light Reading, Dish Network has expressed interest in working with the Department of Defense to build part of its 5G network.

“Dish is deploying a cloud-native, next generation, standalone 5G network using multiple commercial nationwide spectrum bands (between 600MHz and 2GHz) and CBRS spectrum,” Dish said in a recent filing with the Department of Defense. “By bringing together innovations such as the distributed cloud, edge computing and network slicing, our software-based network could provide the DoD a customizable, secure network solution on our commercially-deployed spectrum bands, in addition to new DoD spectrum. Access and capacity to the network resources could be either dedicated or shared, or multiple network slices could be established with different service level agreements.”

Also during the quarter, it became clear that a potential merger between Dish Network and its longtime rival DirecTV is unlikely, at least in the near term. Dish CEO Charlie Ergen has called such a combination “inevitable” multiple times, but in October, a report said that such a combination would likely face regulatory scrutiny, something for which DirecTV owner AT&T has little appetite.

In the meantime, AT&T appears to be attempting to auction off a stake in DirecTV, with several private equity companies circling, and Dish Network not involved with the deal.

Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Image: Reuters