Dish reports substantial subscriber losses

But the satellite broadcaster still seems to be on the right path.

By Trefis Jul 27, 2012 12:51PM
Image: Watching television (© Maria Teijeiro/Getty Images/Getty Images)Dish Network (DISH) recently announced a $1 billion debt offering and, in a relevant filing, it disclosed its subscriber results for the latest quarter. Although the company will report its second-quarter earnings in August, it reported in its recent 8-K filing that it lost 10,000 net subscribers. 

This is disappointing after the results of its last two quarters, during which the company turned around its subscriber losses and surpassed  DirecTV (DTV) in terms of net additions. However, Q2 is usually a slow season and the current figures still point to a significant improvement in comparison to Q2 of 2010 and 2011, when Dish lost 135,000 and 20,000 subscribers, respectively.

Dish Network Pay TV Market Share

What's important is that the company is on the right path.

The acquisition of Blockbuster and focus on high-quality subscribers seem to be paying off. It is important to realize that the pay-TV industry dynamics are changing and the companies will need to resort to multiple strategies that include competitive pricing, enhanced HD DVR services, streaming capability, remote access, multi-device access and bundling with other services. None of them can be successful on a stand-alone basis -- gone are those days.

Our price estimate for Dish Network stands at $34, implying more than 15% premium to the market price.

More from Trefis

Jul 27, 2012 5:16PM
I had Dish for 4 years. When I first subscribed, they had by far the best rates. I had the 200 channel package for $50 a month and was told that after the first year my bill would go up $5 and then it would never go up again. After 3 years of stellar service from them, they suddenly raised my rate by $15 a month. When I called to ask why and remind them they said my bill would never go up, they said they'd "changed their policy". Well, now I'm one of the millions of people that no longer subscribe to Dish.

The problem with these companies, and it's the same for the phone companies, is that they bend over backwards and give the world to new subscribers while treating loyal customers like crap and raising their rates. It's assbackwards. If you want to build a brand, you do it by treating your existing customers well and then they will be the best advertising you can ever have through word of mouth.

At least the big wigs at Dish will probably walk away with hundreds of millions in the bank after they run the company into the ground.
Jul 27, 2012 4:02PM
If they didn't honor their end of the bargain, which included AMC, then they breached the contract and there should be no fees for early cancellation
Jul 27, 2012 2:50PM
dish is a rip-off, they sign you up with false ads get you signed to a 2 year commitment, then start removing channels, and raising prices.customer service? what is that call CS you get to talk to indians that cant speak english, or your on hold for a long time then they hang up on you,I canceled mu subscription after 3 years and the bastard harassed me for a $250 early termination FEE,WTF they were going to trash my credit so I got MY state AG involved and it turns out they tried this scam in other states and got sued. NEVER< NEVER will we go back, and if you people are smart stay AWAY from dish. and BTW DTV is no better
Jul 27, 2012 2:30PM

I hate Dish's online monthly billing statements. Their statements say "you owe this amount" and that's it !!!!!   "To see your bill, log onto Dish's Bla, Bla, Bla...... Hey Dish Network, how about including the DUE DATE the amount is due on the Statements you send out so i don't have to log onto your website, enter my information, go through all the BS just to see the friggin due date !!!!!

Why bother sending out a "Monthly Statement" when it does show anything but the amount due ???

And try calling "Customer Service". Talk about a joke. 10 minutes of AUTOMATED BS just to get to the right Dept.....Then on hold for another 5 minutes. Then "No Speaka English". GEEZAZ.

I'm going back to DirecTV as soon as my friggin contract is up and i'll never go back to Dish again.

Jul 27, 2012 1:32PM

yeah and getting rid of AMC didn't help either .....I canceled because of Dish getting rid of AMC>


THey tried to get me to stay and even have called me on my cell and home.....I said no way Jose'...I took up another offer. I got a kid who is on AMC as an way am i NOT going to watche her on TV>....

Jul 27, 2012 4:04PM
I think they all kinda suck, I've been with Brighthouse and Direct, eventually they all screw you.
Jul 27, 2012 2:35PM

The worst customer service i ever received, hidden fee's. There should be law's about disclosure and false advertisment. I too would cancel if it were not for the fee's

Jul 27, 2012 2:10PM
THey know damn well its because of dropping AMC. Come Sept, i will also be dropping them just for that reason.
Jul 27, 2012 2:18PM
I had JUST signed a two year agreement with Dish when the AMC thing happened.  I am furious and would cancel if it wasn't for the huge fee.
Jul 27, 2012 3:34PM
I don't have an M.B.A. from Harvard and I'm not a C.E.O. and I don't make the kind of wages they say they deserve.  I do however know what is wrong with the Dish Network.  I 'tried' to do business with this company.  Our relationship lasted less than 1 week.  They seemingly have 'no service network' for field problems.  I spent alot of wasted time setting on the phone being transfered from one idiot to another and no one ever said they would come to my house and fix the problem.  I called the local cable company and asked them to unhook the 'dish' and hook their cable back up, they were at my house withing the hour and they showed me the simple problem the dish network had been causing me.  I told these 'idiots' then and i tell you now, you can't do business that way when people have an alternative.  I'll pay more for my cable but I'll also expect and get damned good service from them.  Service is something the 'dish' network knows absolutely nothing about.
Jul 27, 2012 4:27PM

I had Dish for 24 months and I never got a bill that was what it was supposed to be. When

they asked me why I was cancelling there service I told them that they do not have any

ethics, they are liers and will robb you blind. They didn't like that. In two years they have

over charged me around 400.00 dollars!



Jul 27, 2012 2:41PM
Their stupid Hopper commercials do nothing for me.  I have cable, and although I've had some disagreements with my cable company those arguments are not going to cause me to jump to Dish.
Jul 27, 2012 5:06PM

Dish's service has dropped considerably in the last couple years. I've had dish for many years and have been satisfied with it overall. I recently had my HD receiver go bad, called them, they sent a refurbished receiver and I had to send my new one in, not impressed. Tried to set up the new (refurb) receiver with no luck and at least an hour on the phone with tech (lack of) support. They said this receiver was bad, no problem, sent another, returned another. Hooked up yet another refurb receiver, same issue, spent 2 hours on the phone with "advanced tech support" and the same problem, said they would send someone out, in a few days. Already without TV and Sirius for 2 weeks, researched online, found The Satellite Guys website, found the problem in the forums and fixed it myself. The worst part of it, got a $424.00 charge on my bill for unreturned equipment! Had to call in again, wasted even more time on the phone, but they must have found it as they are crediting my account, hopefully.

Jul 27, 2012 4:38PM

It starts with the fact that DirecTV has a monopoly on NFL Sunday Ticket. I bet there's a HUGE percentage of DirecTV subscribers that only do so because of NFL Sunday Ticket.


I do.


Otherwise, DirecTV's "customer service" sucks too. And the cost of their service is robbery.

Jul 27, 2012 3:44PM

they would be money ahead if they quit mailing me weekly promos

make good fire starters    but they no doubt can write it off


Jul 27, 2012 5:31PM
I do not like that you have to pay for the station nobody watches to get the one you like  I almost have all the materials to put up an antenna. I will not get the ones I would like, but it will be free .Maybe I will get tired of the locals and stop watching tv altogether.
Jul 27, 2012 3:52PM

have been with dish since 98,will never go back to cable!

when you call cs and get out of country help just hang up

and call back,99/100 times i get a local on  the phone.

been with dish long enough to have seen when the have

a dipute with a channel they always seem to work it out

just in time for the new season.maybe not so much with

madmen but i dont watch that show. will have to  wait and

see when walking dead season starts?! direct tv costs more so they

are not an option. its like politics chose the lesser evil !!

Jul 27, 2012 5:28PM

DISH and its selling agents are awful companies. I signed up for service and before the dish was installed (~ 2 weeks) they raised the rate substantially (>50%) at which point I declined their service. They did not even return my deposit!

Jul 27, 2012 5:57PM
I have not paid for TV since 2008 when I started getting everything I wanted through the Internet.  Now I pay 50 bucks a month for high speed internet through the cable company instead of 150.00 a month for TV and Internet.  4 years later and I am still happy with my decision and watch everything I want when I want it.  I use torrent files and sites like Karmorra to get the shows I want downloaded automatically to my computer attached to the LCD TV.  I have kept almost 5 grand in my pocket over the 4 years rather than giving it to the cable companies...
Jul 27, 2012 6:39PM

Forgot to mention, they charge extra for more Receivers and for the DVR service..Why whould anyone pay for a service that cost Dish nothing? The DVR is internal, and doesnt require service from Dish to work, so why do customers have to pay?


Bell in Canada does not charge for extra Receivers or their DVR function,,why do American companies? Bunch of crooks!!!

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