Dish Network lost 663,000 television customers in the first quarter of 2020, ending the quarter with 9.01 million DISH TV subscribers and 2.31 million Sling TV subscribers. The loss of DISH TV subscribers includes around 250,000 commercial accounts that the company has suspended as a result of coronavirus restrictions, some of which may be reactivated in the future. The number of Sling TV subscribers fell by 281,000, adding to a loss of 94,000 the previous quarter.
DISH TV subscriber numbers fell by 382,000, compared to a loss of 100,000 the previous quarter and a loss of 266,000 in the first quarter the previous year, according to the informitv Multiscreen Index. It was the tenth consecutive quarterly subscriber loss. DISH TV had a total of 9.01 million satellite television subscribers at the end of March 2020, compared to its peak of 14.34 million ten years previously, or 10.85 million in March 2018.
The company removed 250,000 commercial subscribers from its numbers, as it paused service or provided temporary rate relief for some commercial customers to avoid charging for services that were no longer being viewed by their customers as a result of coronavirus restrictions.
If and when such accounts are reactivated, they will be added back to subscriber accounts but will not be counted as new subscriber additions.
The number of Sling TV online subscribers fell by 281,000, compared to a loss of 94,000 the previous quarter. Until then the service had been reporting quarterly gains. The total number of Sling TV subscribers at the end of March 2020 was 2.31 million, compared to 2.69 million at the end of September 2019.
Nevertheless, quarterly television revenue of $3.22 billion was up on $3.19 billion for the same quarter the previous year.