Dish Network Reports Lower Q2 Net

Pay TV subscribers drop 31,000
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Dish Network reported that its second-quarter profits fell as pay TV subscribers continued to defect.

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Net income was $317 million, or 60 cents a share in the quarter, down from $317 million, or 83 cents a share a year ago.

Revenue slid to $3.21 billion from $3.46 billion.

The company recently made a deal to create a new wireless phone service using its spectrum and assets spun off from the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint.

Related: T-Mobile-Sprint Critics Pan Dish as Fourth Wireless Competitor

Dish said that it had 12.03 million pay-TV subscribers in the second quarter, down about 31,000. The company registered a drop of 151,000 in the second quarter a year ago.

Of its pay TV subscribers, 9.56 million subscribed to the Dish satellite service, while 2.47 million paid for the streaming Sling TV product.

Dish is in the middle of a retransmission consent dispute with the Meredith stations and the Fox Regional Sports Networks have been blacked out to subscribers. HBO has also been off Dish for about nine months.

Analyst Craig Moffett of MoffettNathanson Research, noted that Dish's subscriber losses were less than forecast. Nevertheless, Moffett called Dish's decline in revenue and earnings as "scary."

"One might argue that the satellite business will be an important source of cash flow for their wireless network buildout," Moffett said in a report Monday. "But with decline rates like these, the obvious question is, for how long? Dish has seven years to build a network. Will the satellite business still be here in seven years? How long will the satellite business be able to cover its own debt, much less generate excess cash to help fund their wireless buildout?"

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