Dish Earnings Fall as New Pay-TV Subscribers Decline

By Allison Prang Features Dow Jones Newswires

Earnings fell at Dish Network Corp. in the third quarter as the company took on fewer new Pay-TV subscribers compared to this time last year.

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The cable company reported earnings of $297.4 million, or 57 cents per share, compared to $318.5 million a year ago. Dish said its churn rate for Pay TV subscribers was 1.57%, down from 2.11%. Revenue for the quarter was $3.58 billion, down from $3.77 billion a year ago.

At the end of the quarter, not including the 145,000 subscribers in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands that Dish took out of its subscriber count because of Hurricane Maria, the cable company had 13.2 million Pay-TV subscribers. Last year, that number was 13.6 million.

Dish took on about 638,000 gross new Pay-TV subscribers, it said, down from 736,000 last year. The company said those subscribers rose by 16,000 in the U.S.

The company cut expenses in the quarter by 3.4%. Costs associated with subscriber acquisition advertising fell, as did satellite and transmission expenses, which include costs related to Sling TV, the company's streaming service.

Cable companies have struggled with consumers backing away from the cable TV space. Dish launched Sling TV two and a half years ago in an attempt to lure younger viewers and people who aren't subscribing to regular cable.

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Dish shares were down about 1% on very low volume in premarket trading. Year to date, they are down almost 16%.

Write to Allison Prang at allison.prang@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 09, 2017 07:29 ET (12:29 GMT)