US pay TV outfit DISH suffers big subscriber drop

US satellite TV outfit DISH TV saw its pay TV subscriber count plummet in the first quarter, with the rate of loss accelerating. The outfit dropped 552,000 DISH TV customers, taking its total to 7.098 million.

The bulk of losses came from satellite TV, with DISH TV losing 318,000 customers, but its Sling TV virtual MVPD unit also lost 234,000 customers.

Sling TV, which was badly hit by the impact of a cybersecurity attack in February, also faces stiff competition from US rivals including Hulu. The unit had 2.1 million customers at the end of the quarter.

Despite the impact of the cybersecurity outage being anticipated, the subscriber numbers fell short of analyst expectations.

DISH, which has suffered strongly from the impact of cord-cutting, has been attempting to pivot to a focus on wireless broadband. However, the company lost 81,000 wireless customers in Q1, albeit a lower rate of loss than for the comparable period a year ago.

DISH reported revenue totaling $3.96 billion for the quarter ending March 31, 2023, compared to $4.33 billion for the corresponding period in 2022.

Net income attributable to DISH Network totaled $223 million for the first quarter 2023, compared to $433 million for the year-ago quarter.

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